Oil Prices Extend Gains Amid Looming Iran Sanctions
Oil prices rose on Tuesday to extend gains from the previous session as U.S. sanctions against Iran loomed and top oil producers signaled they were in no rush to increase output.
Benchmark Brent crude was up 74 cents or 0.92 percent at $81.27 per barrel after having hit as high as $81.48 in intraday the previous day, marking the highest level since November 2014.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 47 cents or 0.65 percent at $72.55 a barrel.
Analysts expect Iran's crude oil exports to drop as low as 1 million-1.3 million b/d when further U.S. sanctions on Iran's energy sector take effect on No. 4.
The United States has been asking governments and companies around the world to fall in line and cut their oil imports from Iran.
Further, amid signs of reluctance from the OPEC cartel of oil producing nations to increase output, the market is ill-equipped to fill the supply gap.