Increasing signs of supply disruptions from Iranian oil sanctions, as well as a rise in US crude inventories, have lifted oil prices.
International Brent crude oil LCOc1 increased 30 cents to reach $77.44 per barrel, while US light crude CLc1 rose 30 cents to trade at $69.81, Reuters reported.
Perceptions of tightness in the global oil market have resulted in Brent rising by around 10% over the last two weeks.
Futures brokerage Oanda analyst Alfonso Esparza said: “Sanctions against Iran are beginning to impact oil supply, lifting crude prices.”
Due to growing pressure from Washington on countries to reduce oil imports from Iran, this month’s crude imports are likely to drop to around two million barrels per day (bpd).
The Iranian oil sanctions will be implemented from November this year and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will hold a meeting in December to decide whether it can make up for the supply losses from Iran, Reuters reported citing Iraq state oil marketer SOMO head Alaa al-Yasiri.
Meanwhile, crude supplies from Venezuela have also declined significantly, as the country is facing economic and political instability.
According to official inventory data from the Energy Information Administration , US commercial crude stockpiles USOILC=ECB dropped 2.6 million barrels last week to 405.79 million barrels.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has indicated that oil markets will experience tightness towards the end of the year because of supply disruptions in Iran and Venezuela, and strong demand from Asian countries.