HOUSTON — Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, will continue to bolster its output capacity to quell global shortages, but has “concerns” about the Bush administration’s call to cut its addiction to Middle East oil, the kingdom’s petroleum minister said on Tuesday. Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, plans to boost production capacity from 11 million barrels per day to 12.5 million bpd by 2009. “We will continue to be a source of stability for world energy markets,” Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi told an energy conference hosted by Cambridge Energy Research Associates. “We are addressing the problem of availability head-on.” But, when asked if there were plans to boost capacity beyond 12.5 million bpd, Naimi made a reference to President George W. Bush’s State of the Union pledge to slash U.S. oil imports from Middle East suppliers by 75 percent by 2025. “What concerns us is all the talk about not wanting our oil,” Naimi said. “It’s not a major bump; it’s something to take into consideration.” Speaking on U.S. soil about Bush’s comments, Naimi had to walk a delicate line. His speaker’s podium at […]

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