Oil lifted up to $73 by threatened supply cuts

US sanctions on Iran add to supply curbs

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LONDON
Oil edged higher towards $73 a barrel on Friday, supported by real and threatened supply disruptions in the Middle East and heading for a weekly gain. US sanctions on Iran have cut the OPEC member’s crude exports further in May, adding to supply curbs resulting from an OPEC-led pact. Meanwhile, rising tensions in the Middle East this week raised concerns about additional supply disruption. Brent crude rose $0.15 to $72.77 a barrel at 0908 GMT. Crude oil prices opened with gains on Friday, as tension in the Middle East continues to escalate. International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $72.88 per barrel at 0614 GMT with a 0.59% gain after it closed Thursday at $72.45 a barrel. American benchmark West Texas International was trading higher at $63.02 a barrel at the same time. The global benchmark is up almost 3% this week, having ended last week steady and fallen the week before. US West Texas Intermediate crude added $0.24 to $63.11. The Middle East is acting as a tinderbox for conflict, said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM. — VoM

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