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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 June 2008

Summit fails to halt runaway oil prices

GORDON BROWN can add last week's Jeddah oil summit to his ever-growing list of policy failures. The Saudi Arabia-held conference was supposed to see Britain's hapless prime minister persuade the oil producing OPEC countries to significantly increase their production, easing the price of fuel at the filling stations.

Simon Carter

Instead, US light crude jumped to $137.50 a barrel on Monday morning (23 June). On 24 June, it rose yet further, reaching $138 a barrel, just $2 off the all-time record high. This will continue the misery for ordinary consumers while making billions in profits for oil producing countries and western oil companies alike.

Western oil consuming countries, such as the US, UK and Australia have repeatedly blamed the high price of oil on OPEC states holding back production. OPEC countered by blaming speculators for record oil prices (with some justification, as oil prices are inflated by as much as 100% - see Oil Price Shock in The Socialist, Issue 537).

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest producer, has announced a further increase in production on top of an increase last month. However, this will make little difference to world supplies as violence in Nigeria has disrupted supplies from there. Moreover, Israeli military exercises - reportedly a dry run for bombing Iran's nuclear facilities - have increased speculation in oil markets, keeping prices high.

It seems that the high price of oil - which has prompted riots and protests across the western world - will only significantly fall back when an oil-price affected world economic recession kicks in.

More in a future issue of The Socialist

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In The Socialist 25 June 2008:

Prices up, Wages down...Summer of action needed!

Workers' battles win results: Tankers drivers' success upsets bosses

Council workers striking back


Socialist Party editorial

Editorial: Summer of discontent?

PCS union sends letter of solidarity to Unison

Campaign for a new workers' party: Conference - Sunday 29 June, 11am - 5pm


Unison Conference 2008

Unison conference 2008: Fighting to reclaim the union for its members

Unison Service Group Executives - socialists elected

National Shop Stewards Network Conference

Fighting, democratic unions not witch hunts


Socialist Party campaigns

Thousands show their hatred for racism

Student unions can be pushed into action


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Review: False 'gods' of a failing system


International socialist news and analysis

Zimbabwe: Mugabe's militias crush his political opponents

Afghanistan - paying the price of western occupation

Summit fails to halt runaway oil prices

Britain: No.1 arms dealer


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Cut throat competition threatens NHS

"With polyclinics you're just a number"

Stop this sell-off!


Origins of the Labour Party

'Old' Labour - born out of workers' struggles


Socialist Party workplace news

Brighton bus drivers match inflation

Teachers fight academy plans in Bolton

Union news in brief

Usdaw election


 

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