Oil prices rise after Jeddah summit

SINGAPORE, June 23, 2008 (AFP) – World oil prices rose in Asian trading on Monday after Saudi Arabia said at a weekend summit that it had raised output, and said speculators were partly to blame for higher prices. New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, was 29 cents higher at 135.65 dollars per barrel.

The July contract leapt 2.69 dollars to close at 134.62 dollars per barrel before expiring on Friday.

Brent North Sea crude for August was 22 cents higher at 135.08 dollars a barrel after rising 2.86 dollars to settle at 134.86 dollars per barrel on Friday in London.

At an unusual weekend summit of producer and consumer nations called to discuss soaring oil prices, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah condemned oil “speculators”.

The summit in Jeddah called for greater transparency in market dealings, and for an increase in investment to ensure that the markets are adequately supplied.

Saudi output has risen to 9.7 million barrels a day, the king said, vowing to further increase production if necessary to defuse market tensions which have sent the price of a barrel of oil up to almost 140 dollars — sparking angry protests in several countries.

The monarch,