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Link: Saudi Readies for Extra Oil Output Increase

By Karen Matusic

LONDON (Reuters) - OPEC power Saudi Arabia Monday said it was preparing to raise oil production for the third time this year if crude prices do not fall from current lofty levels within the ``next few days.''

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) his country, in consultation with other producers, would increase output by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) if prices don't fall from more than $30 now to OPEC's target of $25 a barrel.

``We have sought, and will continue in any way we can, to bring the prices down from their current level to the target levels of $25 per barrel of OPEC basket of crudes,'' Naimi told SPA.

``If the price does not decrease, Saudi Arabia, in conjunction with other producers, will increase production by 500,000 bpd, within the next few days.''

An OPEC source told Reuters that the kingdom was willing to unilaterally increase output if other producers could not.

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