G7 calls for more oil output
NEW YORK -- The world's richest economies - the Group of Seven -- have called on oil producers to pump enough oil to support the world's current rapid economic growth pace.
The G7, made up of the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Canada, said the global economy is enjoying its fastest expansion in 15 years.
Finance ministers from the seven countries met in New York Sunday, a day after OPEC oil ministers meeting in Amsterdam deferred a decision on boosting output until June 3.
The G7's post-meeting statement on Sunday said lower oil prices would help the global economy and welcomed moves by some oil-producing nations to boost output levels.
It described the world economy as "strong" and pointed to growth rates of about 4.25 percent for 2003 and 2004.
"Lower oil prices would benefit the world economy," the G7 statement read out by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, said.
"We welcome the recent announcements by some oil producers to increase production."
That is seen as support for the proposal by leading producer Saudi Arabia that OPEC should pump an extra two million barrels of oil a day. (Full story)
The Saudi proposal, which would lift the OPEC production ceiling to 25.5 million barrels a day, did not win enough support at Amsterdam, and will now be discussed when OPEC members meet in Beirut on June 3.
"We now call on all oil producers to provide adequate supplies to ensure that world oil prices return to levels consistent with lasting global economic prosperity and stability, in particular for the poorest developing countries," the statement said.
The statement is aimed at preparing the economic agenda for the Group of Eight (G7 plus Russia) summit next month.