Oil prices have fallen slightly as rising US productions offset civilian unrest in Iran and OPEC led efforts to tighten supply.

However, markets remaining close to the 2015 highs touched earlier this week.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell by 6 cents, trading at $61.95 a barrel, not far off from the $62.21-high reached the previous day, which was their strongest since May 2015, according to Reuters.

Brent crude futures decreased 8 cents trading at $67.99 a barrel, but stayed close to the $68.27-high from the day before.

“Brent crude futures decreased 8 cents trading at $67.99 a barrel.”

The recent increase in oil prices has been fuelled by anti-government protests in Iran, output cuts by the OPEC and Russia, as well as a decline in US commercial crude inventories by 7.4 million barrels in the week to 29 December to 424.46 million barrels.

However, there are concerns whether the trend of price rise and stabilisation will continue given the fact that the unrest in Iran has not affected the country’s oil production, and that US output is expected to breach the ten million barrels per day (bpd) soon.

Swiss bank Julius Baer commodity research head Norbert Ruecker was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Overly rosy picture (as) oil production disruptions (in Iran) remain a very distant threat … disruptions in the North Sea have been removed … (and) US oil production surpassed the 2015 highs in October and is set to climb to historic highs this year.”