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Pickens: Oil Going to $150, So Move to Gas

Legendary Texas oil billionaire Boone Pickens says President Bush was wasting his time traveling to Saudi Arabia to ask for increased oil production.

"The Saudis claim they have more oil," Pickens told CNBC. "They don't. The President wasted his time to go to Saudi Arabia, to say, 'Give us more oil.' They can't give any more oil...they're stacking up the money as fast as they can stack it up."

Pickens expects the price of oil to continue rising.

"Eighty-five million barrels of oil a day is all the world can produce, and the demand is 87 million," he said. "It's just that simple. It doesn't have anything to do with the value of the dollar."

He expects the price of a barrel of oil to reach $150 this year, and he insists speculation has nothing to do with it.

Buying oil is draining an enormous amount of money from the United States, he says.

"We are now paying out...an estimated $600 billion a year for oil," he said. "It's four times the cost of the Iraqi war, and not one of the politicians running for president has anything to say about it. I don't know whether they don't know it, or they don't want to mention it."

Pickens says natural gas is the only American resource that can reduce oil imports. He claims the effective use of natural gas could reduce oil imports by 40 percent. He dismissed ethanol as an alternative. He added that what reduced demand there has been in the United States has immediately been picked up by China.

"The only way I see that oil doesn't continue to rise [is] if we had a global recession." he said. "That will happen at some point, but I don't see the Chinese stumbling until after the Olympics."

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