Oil prices higher as U.S. sanctions limit Iran exports

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Monday, supported by concerns that falling Iranian output will tighten markets once U.S. sanctions bite from November, but gains were limited by higher supply from OPEC and the United States. Brent crude oil LCOc1 was up 45 cents at $78.09 a barrel by 0905 GMT. U.S. crude CLc1 was 15 cents higher at $69.95. The two benchmarks have risen strongly over the last two weeks with Brent gaining more than 10 percent on expectations that global supply will tighten later this year. U.S. sanctions are already curbing exports from Iran. “Exports from OPEC’s third-biggest producer are falling faster than expected and worse is to come ahead of a looming second wave of U.S. sanctions,” said Stephen Brennock, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates. “Fears of an impending supply crunch are gaining traction.” Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at brokerage OANDA, said Brent was “supported by the notion that U.S. sanctions on Iranian crude oil exports will eventually lead to constricted markets”. Edward Bell, analyst at Emirates NBD bank in Dubai, agreed: “Iranian production is already showing signs of decline, falling by 150,000 bpd last month … (as) importers of Iranian… continue reading

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