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G-8 leaders say cut oil demand

A sign displays gas prices over $4 a gallon at a Speedway station in Glendale, Wis.

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: Oil prices will probably hit $150 a barrel this summer. That's the word today from the global head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs. Oil hit an all-time high Friday, above $139 a barrel. $It's above $137 right now. For the first-time ever, the average price of a gallon of gasoline hit $4 this weekend.

At the same time, ministers from the group of eight industrialized nations were meeting in Japan, talking about rising oil. But it doesn't seem they can do a whole lot about it. Stephen Beard has more.


Stephen Beard: The G-8 leaders urged the oil producers to pump more crude, but they stopped short of adopting the tough talk of the Australian Prime Minister. He said at the weekend that the G-8 should "take a blow torch to OPEC."

In the end, the meeting put more emphasis on cutting demand. It called for greater energy efficiency among the consuming nations.

But, says energy analyst Julian Lee, the problem is that most of the rise in demand is in emerging economies like China and India, where fuel prices are heavily subsidized:

Julian Lee: Consumers are not getting the sort of price signals that we're getting in the developed world that say: "Prices are rising, prices are high. We need to cut back on consumption."

The Chinese and the Indians, who were represented at the meeting, showed no willingness to lift their subsidies soon.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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