Oil prices supported by Iran protests
LONDON, January 2, 2018 – Crude oil prices were hovering at multi-year highs on Tuesday, as unrest in Iran sparked concerns over potential supply disruptions in the region and as supply cut efforts by global oil producers continued to support.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude February contract was up 13 cents or about 0.23% at $60.55 a barrel by 04:00 a.m. ET (08:00 GMT), the highest since June 2015.
Elsewhere, Brent oil for March delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London was up 11 cents or about 0.16% at $66.99 a barrel, just off a nearly three-year peak of $67.29 hit overnight.
Iranian protesters attacked police stations late Monday, in their fourth day of demonstrations marking the biggest challenge to the country’s clerical leadership since 2009.
Crude prices also continued to be supported by production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia. The producers agreed in December to extend current oil output cuts until the end of 2018.
The deal to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day (bpd) was adopted last winter by OPEC, Russia and nine other global producers. The agreement was due to end in March 2018, having already been extended once.
Elsewhere, gasoline futures were up 0.16% at $1.789 a gallon, while natural gas futures surged 2.10% to $3.015 per million British thermal units.