High oil prices hurting fiscal balance, says Pradhan

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Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Wednesday that an OPEC output increase could total around 460,000 bpd.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said Thursday that OPEC members and other countries who agreed in November 2016 to cut output should increase supply by about one million barrels per day to prevent a shortage.

Mr. Pradhan went on to say that the prices of oil and gas had become subject to the "vagaries of geopolitics" and urged the OPEC countries to commit towards ensuring more sustainable prices. Iran faces constraints on its oil exports after Trump reimposed sanctions on May 8.

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So far there is no indication that Iran and the other members would agree to such a reallocation, although with officials holding extensive talks in the run-up to Friday's Opec meeting, further compromise could be made. The proposal has yet to win the backing of all OPEC members, and may meet resistance from more hawkish countries in the group including Venezuela and Algeria as well as Iran.

"We hope that there will be an agreement", Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi told reporters. Sources said a production rise of about 1 million bpd was emerging as a possible consensus for OPEC and its allies, adding that Iran could assent under certain conditions.

Brent reached a 3-1/2-year high above $80 a barrel last month but has fallen steadily in recent weeks as Saudi Arabia, de facto leader of Opec, has signalled it intends to raise production to stabilise prices. Venezuela's oil industry is collapsing due to years of mismanagement and an economic crisis. "These prices are creating stress throughout global economy, as it is giving pain to us in India".

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Prices of Brent Crude were down to $73.34 on Thursday, after highs earlier this month of around $80, while United States light crude CLc1 dropped $1 to $64.71.

But in practice it would mean a much smaller boost of less than a 10th of that amount, effectively from Saudi Arabia.

If the existing deal were retained and the Saudis felt a need to add more oil, Riyadh could increase output unilaterally, as it did after a meeting in June 2011 ended with no decision.

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