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Report: OPEC mulls easing oil cuts as Middle East tensions rise

OPEC and its allies are set to meet May 19 to debate a potential increase in crude output in a bid to balance global oil supply amid ongoing regional tensions, The Wall Street Journal reported May 17.

The meeting comes days after two Saudi oil tankers were sabotaged and a Saudi pipeline was attacked.

According to a person attending the May 19 meeting, OPEC will now consider a plan to give countries more flexibility to pump more oil as long as they stay within the boundaries set by a December 2018 deal in which OPEC and major oil producers agreed on a 1.2 million barrel per day production cut, with OPEC members cutting production by 800,000 bbl/d and non-OPEC members cutting production by 400,000 bbl/d.

Officials told The Wall Street Journal that the meeting is not expected to end with a final decision on output and that Iran will not be represented but its supply risk will be "widely scrutinized."

OPEC officials said the meeting might conclude with a set of recommendations for the second half of the year that will be taken into account during a planned June summit in Vienna.