Saudi Arabia celebrates 75 years of making oil in era of record prices

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday marked the 75th anniversary of its national oil company, once a joint operation with the Americans, but gave no sign of acquiescing to a US request to increase its oil output. Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi says the kingdom has won the respect of the world "because of its positive, moderate economic and oil policies." He made no mention in his speech at the ceremony of US President George W. Bush's request for help in reducing skyrocketing oil prices. In its first meeting since Bush's visit to Saudi Arabia, however, the Saudi Cabinet reiterated Monday that current oil production was enough to meet market requirements. Al-Naimi briefed the ministers at the meeting on the "kingdom's view that the currently produced quantities meet all needs of the market and that the production capacity can meet any real additional energy needs," the statement said, according to the official press agency.