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October 16, 2017updated 25 Oct 2017 7:59am

Oil prices increase on concerns of new sanctions on Iran and Iraq conflict

Oil prices have increased over concerns of new US sanctions against Iran and the ongoing conflict in Iraq.

Oil prices have increased over concerns of new US sanctions against Iran and the ongoing conflict in Iraq.

International Brent crude futures LCOc1 climbed 64 cents to $57.81 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were improved 44 cents to touch $51.89, reported Reuters.

Last week, US President Donald Trump refused to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear accord despite the positive report by the international inspectors.

US Congress will now have 60 days to consider re-imposing economic sanctions on Iran.

The oil market is also concerned with the political stability of Iraq, one of the prominent oil producers and an OPEC member.

“US Congress will now have 60 days to consider re-imposing economic sanctions on Iran.”

Iraqi forces began advancing towards the key oil fields of Kirkuk currently held by Kurdish forces, a development that can disrupt oil supplies to the market.

On the other hand, the oil prices also received support from the further decline in the number of oil producing rigs in the US.

Energy services firm Baker Hughes said that in the week to 13 October, drillers cut five oil rigs to bring the total down to 743, the lowest since early June.

An oil rig situated at Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain was also reported to have exploded injuring six people.

At the demand side, Chinese oil consumption strengthened while the central bank governor said that the country economy is expected to grow at 7% in the second half of this year, higher than the earlier prediction of 6.9%.

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