Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Jeddah talks fail to dampen world oil price -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

ELEANOR HALL: The meeting of oil producers in Jeddah has done nothing to slow the rise in the price
of crude oil which is higher again today.

As business editor Peter Ryan reports, the clear message from the meeting was that there's no quick

PETER RYAN: When the world's top oil producing and consuming nations gathered in Jeddah for the
weekend summit, most if not all had low expectations about any tangible outcomes.

And in his opening comments, the summit host, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, did little to prove the
pundits wrong.

KING ABDULLAH (translated): We have decided to increase oil production from nine million to nine
million seven hundred thousand barrels.

PETER RYAN: The King's gesture of additional 200,000 barrels a day from next month, repeated an
offer flagged to the UN Secretary-General more than a week ago.

The King said there could be an increase beyond that if required, but he gave no specific level.

Ministers and observers like oil analyst Raad Alkadiri who gathered at the behest of Saudi Arabia
latched on to a key and rather obvious theme of the summit - simply that the price of oil is too

RAAD ALAKADIRI: What the Saudi's are trying to do is gather people together to say look, we can't
solve this on our own, it is not simply a supply problem. There are a number of facets that are
helping drive prices up.

PETER RYAN: And Dr Ibrahim al-Muhanna from the Saudi Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources
warn that from the Saudi point of view there was no quick fix.

IBRAHIM AL-MUHANNA: Oil business is a long-term business. Things can not change overnight.

PETER RYAN: But many doubt the high oil price is a simple supply and demand issue.

The president of oil cartel OPEC, Chakib Khelil says turning on the tap would make no difference to
the price, especially with petrol prices in the United States still cheap by world standards.

CHAKIB KHELIL: Four dollars a gallon compared to the price that European consumer pays is very
cheap, and how do you introduce conservation with that level of price - you can't.

PETER RYAN: The currently weak US dollar is also a factor, and according to OPEC a major recovery
is key in turning the oil price around.

(Excerpt from news story)

NEWSREADER: Tonight the Saudi's hold an emergency oil summit. Lots of talk but will it make any
difference at the pumps.

PETER RYAN: In the United States - the land of petrol guzzling V8s and people-movers - the summit
made big but disappointing news.

NEWSREADER: Bottom line - did anything that happened today in Saudi Arabia, did anything that
happen there have a potential of making an impact on us when we go to the gas station.

PETER BEUTEL: Not immediately, I'm afraid. Potentially longer term, there may be some things, two
or three years down the road but was there anything that is going to lower prices at the pump this
week? No.

PETER RYAN: Oil analyst Peter Beutel says unless America breaks the petrol addiction, oil prices
will continue to spiral.

PETER BEUTEL: Hopefully, we will learn our lesson and adopt some very long-term plans, because if
we don't when peak oil hits, we are talking about crude oil not at $200 but at $400, $500 even

PETER RYAN: Peter Beutel believes America needs a major cultural change on alternative energy and
perhaps an emergency approach not seen since the dark days of World War II.

PETER BEUTEL: We need to open up some of the areas that have been off-limits. We need to do
nuclear, we need to do solar. We need to do wind, we need to do tidal, we need to do ethanol; we
need more refineries. And I am beginning to think that maybe we need to have a Manhattan project
style approach to this where we get the nation's best and brightest, get a lot of money, throw it
at them and say please don't come out until you have the answer.

PETER RYAN: So will the Saudi offer of an additional 200,000 barrels a day help in any way?

Some oil analysts say 'no' - the Saudis are offering heavy sour, high sulfur oil and not the light
sweet crude the world requires.

And as producers and consumers face the third oil shock in thirty years, the heat is being turned
up on speculators whose bets continue to push the price of oil to new records.

ELEANOR HALL: Business editor, Peter Ryan.