Oil prices rise
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.