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White House Welcomes OPEC Oil Production Increase - 2003-01-14

The White House has welcomed OPEC's decision to raise oil production limits. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed Sunday to a seven percent increase in output.

White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer praised the OPEC decision. "The president views OPEC's action to increase production, particularly given the protracted dispute in Venezuela as a welcome step," he said. "It will increase global energy supplies and support global economic growth."

OPEC increased production limits by 1.5 million barrels a day to compensate for six weeks of losses in Venezuela, where opposition-led strikes are crippling the oil industry.

Crude oil prices eased a bit in early trading Monday in response to OPEC's announcement, but edged up at closing. Last week, crude prices surged to a two-year high of $33 per barrel.