Saudi Arabia, the world`s biggest exporter of oil, is set to boost production to stem the tide of rising fuel prices.

The move, which caught other OPEC members by surprise, will see the country pump an extra half-a-million barrels of oil a day, to bring the price of crude to around $25 a barrel.

US Vice President Al Gore welcomed the announcement saying that the increase in production would result in cheaper fuel for US customers. The UK-based Petrol Retailers` Association hailed the Saudi plan as `excellent news`.

Fear of consumers resorting to other fuels was considered to be one of the reasons for the increase in production, according to the BBC.