Oil prices rise

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Business -

LON­DON. Oil prices hit $80 a barrel yes­ter­day for the first time since Novem­ber 2014 on con­cerns that Ira­nian ex­ports could fall due to re­newed U.S. sanc­tions and re­duce sup­ply in an al­ready tight­en­ing mar­ket.

Brent crude fu­tures LCOc1 reached an in­tra­day high of $80.18. They were up 58 cents at $79.86 as of 1110 GMT.

U.S. West Texas In­ter­me­di­ate (WTI) crude fu­tures were up 57 cents at $72,06 a barrel, also their high­est since Novem­ber 2014.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s de­ci­sion this month to with­draw the United States from an in­ter­na­tional nu­clear deal with Iran and re­vive sanc­tions that could limit crude ex­ports from OPEC’s third-largest pro­ducer has given strong tail­wind to oil prices.

France’s To­tal on Wed­nes­day warned it might aban­don a multi-bil­lion-dol­lar gas project in Iran if it could not se­cure a waiver from U.S. sanc­tions, cast­ing fur­ther doubt on Euro­pean-led efforts to sal­vage the nu­clear deal.

A rapid de­cline in Venezuela’s crude pro­duc­tion has fur­ther roiled mar­kets in re­cent months.

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