Oil in Turmoil: Energy Prices Rise as US Threatens Iran

US Crude Edges Toward $70 as Traders Brace for Iran Decision

US Crude Edges Toward $70 as Traders Brace for Iran Decision

Brent crude oil futures rose as high as $75.67 per barrel, reaching a three-year high, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures reached the level of $70.56 per barrel, according to media reports.

Iran has been preparing for months for the possibility that Trump will withdraw from the nuclear agreement, President Hassan Rouhani said, warning that the USA would quickly come to regret such a decision.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday Iran had plans to respond to any move by Trump and the USA would regret a decision to exit the accord.

Fresh weekly data on US commercial crude inventories on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world's largest oil consumer and how fast output levels will continue to rise will capture the market's attention.

The showdown between President Donald Trump and Iran will likely continue to be the main driver of sentiment in the oil market this week. In the year 2014, month of November, the price had been $75.89 per barrel.

LONDON, May 7 (Reuters) - Oil prices jumped to their highest since late 2014 on Monday on a deepening economic crisis in Venezuela and worries that the Unites States could re-impose sanctions on Iran, while stocks firmed and the dollar rose towards its 2018 peak.

Analysts said a crisis in Venezuela, a major oil exporter, underpinned prices. "All indications point to President Trump abrogating the arrangement and reintroducing sanctions", Scotiabank said last week, a development that would push the oil price higher as Iran would no longer be able to sell its oil to the world, something which would drive up the price for everyone else's crude.

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Venezuela's oil output has halved since the early 2000s to 1.5-million barrels per day, hit by a lack of investment.

Expressing doubts over Iran's sincerity, Trump has threatened to walk away from the 2015 agreement by not extending sanctions waivers when they expire on May 12, which would likely result in a reduction of Iran's oil exports. Iran re-emerged as a major oil exporter in 2016 after global sanctions against it were lifted, and President Trump has a May 12 deadline to determine whether to extend sanction waivers.

US drillers added nine oil rigs in the week to May 4, bringing the total count to 834, the highest number since March 2015, General Electric (NYSE:GE)'s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.

The recent surge in prices suggests markets are assuming there will be some disruption to Iran's exports, Shum said.

Global oil demand expanded by 1.5 million barrels per day a year ago, thanks to a rebound in US gasoline demand from drivers of SUVs and light trucks.

Saudi Arabian energy minister Khalid al-Falih said he was concerned about possible shortages of spare crude production capacity.

United States output will likely rise further this year, towards or past Russia's 11 million bpd, as its energy firms keep drilling for more.

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