Brown issues plea to halt rising oil prices

Gordon Brown is in Saudi Arabia for oil talks
Gordon Brown is in Saudi Arabia for oil talks

Gordon Brown has today called on oil producing countries to conclude a new deal on energy to help stop rising oil prices and guarantee international economic stability.

The prime minister is attending an energy summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to discuss ways of controlling the surge in oil prices and stepping up production.

In a speech at the summit, Mr Brown said the world was facing "the third big oil shock in 30 years" and that measures needed to be taken to reduce the price of the valuable commodity.

In order to achieve greater stability in the price of oil, Mr Brown called for greater investment in the UK in renewable energy and to allow further investment in oil sectors in major oil producers.

He also called for greater measures to guarantee market efficiency.

The prime minister said: "Wherever there are shortages and gaps, they are addressed.

"Wherever there are investment bottlenecks they are dealt with. Whenever there is protectionism it is tackled. So that instead of uncertainty and unpredictability there is greater certainty. And instead of instability there is greater stability," he added.

Mr Brown also unveiled a four point plan to guarantee stable oil prices. The measures involve working towards making the market work better to reduce price volatility, ensuring the best use of existing oil resources, accelerating a switch to alternative energy sources and further investment in alternative energy supplies.

Last month, Mr Brown said there were "no easy answers" on the issue which he has called "the biggest problem facing the world".

Oil has been setting records on almost a daily basis, but the reasons for the surge are unclear. The Organisation for the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) has blamed speculators for the rises, while political tensions have also contributed to the rises.

Increasing production may help push prices down, while yesterday's price hike in China - where prices are set by the government rather than the market - may also help slow the rise.

It is thought that Saudi Arabia will announce an increase in production following the meeting.


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