02 March 2012 10:08 [Source: ICIS news]
By James Dennis
At 09:35 GMT, April Brent crude on
April NYMEX light sweet crude futures (WTI) were trading at $107.96/bbl, down 88 cents/bbl on the previous close. Earlier the
Crude prices had surged on Thursday with April ICE Brent futures climbing to an intraday high of $128.40/bbl, the highest level since 23 July 2008, amid reports from
April ICE Brent futures eventually settled at $126.20/bbl, which was still the highest settlement in 11 months.
Crude still remained buoyed by heightened tensions between the West and
The tightening of sanctions against Iran by the US, an upcoming EU embargo on Iranian oil imports, as well as US pressure on Asian nations to cut imports of Iranian oil have raised concerns that upward pressure on oil prices is being generated by moves by buyers to secure alternative oil supplies.
The US Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, moved to calm such concerns on Thursday.
He told reporters in
Oil shipments from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran totalling around 17m bbl/day pass through the Straits of Hormuz, this volume represents 35% of all seaborne traded oil and 20% of oil traded worldwide.
Further supply tightness has been generated by disruption to North Sea supplies as well as lost exports, which total more than 500,000 bbl/day, from other producers in the Middle East and North Africa such as South Sudan, Yemen, and Syria amid ongoing unrest in those regions.
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