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Oil Producers, Consumers Gathering in Saudi Arabia to Discuss Energy Crisis

The world's major oil producers and consumers are gathering in Saudi Arabia Sunday for talks on crude oil prices that have been hitting record highs.

Saudi Arabia called for the meeting in Jeddah to address an energy crisis that has caused social and economic turmoil around the world. The Saudis are expected to formally announce plans at the meeting to increase oil production by 2,000 barrels a day in July.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia said it is ready to pump more crude oil, in a bid to stabilize prices. The Saudi deputy oil minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, said Riyadh is prepared to meet the demands of its customers.

But the head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which Saudi Arabia is a key member, has said increasing oil production is "illogical."

OPEC President Chakib Khelil said Friday that oil prices have been driven up by speculation and geopolitical tension.

U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Saturday that insufficient oil production - and not financial speculation - is behind soaring crude prices. He said oil production has not kept pace with growing demand.

Iran has said increasing oil production will not help to bring prices down. Iran is OPEC's second-largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.