Iran sanctions and regional unrest hitting Mideast growth, International Monetary Fund warns

Minister Bijan Zanganeh talking to journalists at the beginning of an OPEC meeting in Vienna Austria. — Reuters

US President Donald Trump urged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and top oil supplier Saudi Arabia to lower oil price on Friday.

The Trump administration last week announced it would not extend waivers of US sanctions for countries buying Iranian oil after May 2, in a bid to cut off all foreign sales of the Islamic Republic's key export.

West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery rose 41 cents to settle at $63.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Saudi Arabia will not rush to boost oil supply to make up for a loss of Iranian crude due to United States sanctions, and will stick to a global deal on oil production, which could be extended to the end of 2019, Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told RIA news agency.

The situation in Venezuela, an OPEC member whose oil exports have been hit by USA sanctions and an economic crisis, was fluid on Tuesday.

USA sanctions on Iran are causing unrest in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and oil price volatility is dragging regional economic growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.

Brent crude futures had risen to $73.08 per barrel by 1143 GMT, up 1.44 per cent from their last close.

Google removing 100 apps from Chinese developer
You'll be able to track fitness using Google's "Move Minutes" and "Heart Points" metrics. As of this writing, 46 of the apps in violation are now unavailable to download.

Analysts and market participants downplayed the comments as details were unclear.

Many of OPEC's biggest producers and partners outside the group are poised to post a government budget surplus if Crude Oil prices gain from the average $62 bbl so far this year.

To compensate for the reduced supply from Iran, the United States is pressuring OPEC to raise output.

Sechin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, says Russian Federation is losing market share to the United States, which is not participating in production cuts and has boosted output to record levels of some 12 million bpd.

Meanwhile, Russia hopes to restore oil pipeline supplies to central and western Europe in two weeks, after they were suspended last week over crude quality problems.

USA exports exceeded 3 million barrels per day for the first time in early 2019 amid a more than 2 million bpd production surge over the past year, to a record of more than 12 million bpd.

"There is roughly a million barrels per day of Iranian crude (exports) left, and there is plenty of supply in the market to ease that transition and maintain stable prices, Brian Hook, US special representative for Iran, had said on Thursday".

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