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UN's Ban Says Saudi Arabia to Raise Oil Output Again


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says Saudi Arabia will increase its oil production next month by 200,000 barrels a day.

Mr. Ban says he learned of the Saudi plan to raise oil output again from Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia already increased its oil production by 300,000 barrels a day this month, compared to May, to meet growing demand from customers. The additional increase would raise total Saudi production to nine-point-seven million barrels a day.

Mr. Ban was speaking after a visit to the Saudi city of Jeddah, where he met Saturday with Saudi King Abdullah. The U.N. chief says they discussed global concerns about the rising price of oil and its impact on the cost of food.

Mr. Ban says the king acknowledged that oil prices are "abnormally high" and promised to do what he can to lower them.

Saudi Arabia is concerned that sustained high oil prices will dampen the world's appetite for oil, hurting the kingdom's economy in the long run.

Saudi Arabia is hosting a meeting of major oil producing and consuming nations on June 22 to discuss ways of dealing with rising oil prices. Crude prices rose above $139 a barrel for the first time earlier this month.

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