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Oil producers meet to discuss output amid Iran tension

Jeddah

Major crude producers are set to meet Sunday to discuss how to stabilise a volatile oil market amid rising US-Iran tensions in the Gulf, which threaten to disrupt supply.
Key OPEC members and other major suppliers including Russia will assess the oil market and examine compliance to production cuts agreed late last year. But the subject of Iran, which is not present, will dominate the one-day meeting of the OPEC+ group.
It comes days after sabotage attacks against tankers in highly sensitive Gulf waters and the bombing of a Saudi pipeline by Iran-aligned Yemen rebels.
The meeting also comes as the full impact of re-instated US sanctions against Tehran kicks in, slashing the Islamic republic’s crude exports.
Hours before the meeting in Jeddah, host Saudi Arabia said it does not seek war with Iran, but is ready to defend its interests. The meeting is set to make recommendations ahead of a key OPEC summit in late June, to be attended by Iran.
President Donald Trump said last month Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members had agreed to his request to boost oil production in order to tamp down rising prices.
Massive drops in exports by Iran and Venezuela plus output cuts of 1.2 million barrels per day, implemented by the OPEC+ group since January, have cut supply. But UAE Energy Minister Suheil al-Mazrouei said inventories were still building up. He told reporters Saturday that the job of balancing the market was not yet complete, a hint that any ramp-up in production could send prices crashing as they did in late 2018.—Reuters