Oil hits $80 as Iran fears mount

Brent for November settlement climbed as much as 62 cents to $77.45 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange

Brent for November settlement climbed as much as 62 cents to $77.45 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange

United States crude rose 91 cents to $70.16 a barrel.

Brent rose above $80 per barrel on Wednesday for the first time since May, spurred by expectations that US sanctions against Iran's oil exports, which will start in November, will tighten global markets.

The Persian country will by November 4 see a slew of countries already abandoning oil supply contracts and the rest scrambling for alternatives as crushing USA sanctions on Iran threaten to impose additional sanctions on those defying the ban on crude imports from the country. Furthermore, Iranian oil exports continued to decline before the US sanctions go into effect in November to provide an additional boost to oil.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $67.61 per barrel at 0112 GMT, up 7 cents from their last settlement.

Novak said global oil markets were "fragile" due to geopolitical risks and supply disruptions.

South Korea has chose to comply with USA demands to cut oil imports from Iran to zero, becoming the first to do so out of the top three buyers.

"Crude oil output increased mostly in Libya, Iraq, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, while production declined in Iran, Venezuela and Algeria", the 15-member oil cartel said.

Here's what the DC region can expect from Hurricane Florence
And it led to mixed signals from officials in SC , whose governor had canceled mandatory evacuation for several coastal counties. However, residents were warned this has not lessened the threat from the severe weather Florence will bring to the East Coast.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry met Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih on Monday in Washington, as the Trump administration encourages big oil-producing countries to keep output high. Perry will meet with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Thursday in Moscow.

He also warned of the impact of USA sanctions against Iran: "This is a huge uncertainty on the market - how countries, which buy nearly 2 million barrels per day of Iranian oil, will act".

Combined output by these three producers has risen by 3.8 million bpd since September 2014, more than the peak 3 million bpd Iran has managed during the last three years. Novak did not provide details.

A group of producers around OPEC and Russian Federation have been voluntarily withholding supplies since January 2017 to tighten markets, but with crude prices up by more than 40 percent since then and markets significantly tighter, there has been pressure on Russian Federation and OPEC to raise output.

This is one reason that the discount for US crude versus Brent has widened to around $10 per barrel, the biggest since June, traders said.

The US crude production is expected to rise 840,000 bpd to 11.5 million bpd next year, lower than a previous expectation for a rise of 1.02 million bpd to 11.7 million bpd, the US Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report.

Latest News