The world's largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, plans to increase its oil production by 200,000 barrels a day, to a total of 9.7 million barrels a day, in an effort to ease soaring world oil prices.
Oil-consuming nations have been pressing the Saudis to pump more oil for some time, but members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries say a shortage of crude oil is not the problem. OPEC says high prices are caused by the weak dollar, speculators and international political tensions.
The Saudi pledge comes ahead of an OPEC summit, bringing together both oil-producing and consuming nations, on June 22. Oil markets paid little attention Monday to the promised production increase; in New York trading, prices soared about $4 a barrel to hit to another record high of $139.89.
Traders linked the latest price spike to a drop in the value of the dollar.
Even before the latest record high for crude oil prices, the cost of gasoline in the United States hit another record, $1.07 a liter, more than 35 percent higher than $.79 a liter price one year ago.
Some information for this report provided by AFP, Reuters and AP.