Oil Tops $80 a Barrel

28 February 2010 (Last Updated February 28th, 2010 18:30)

Oil prices reached over $80 a barrel today amid threats by Iran that it could cut off energy supplies to Europe. For April delivery, US crude rose 72¢ to $80.38 a barrel by 0840 GMT, while London Brent crude increased 67¢ to $78.26, reports Reuters. The contract for

Oil prices reached over $80 a barrel today amid threats by Iran that it could cut off energy supplies to Europe.

For April delivery, US crude rose 72¢ to $80.38 a barrel by 0840 GMT, while London Brent crude increased 67¢ to $78.26, reports Reuters.

The contract for US crude settled on Friday up $1.49 at $79.66 and reported its biggest monthly percentage gain since May 2009.

A senior military official from Iran, the world's fourth-largest exporter of crude, said the country could make European countries suffer by cutting off energy supplies, reports Reuters.

Oil prices dropped after the pace of manufacturing in the China, the world's largest fuel consumer, slowed more sharply than expected in January 2010.

The growth of export orders fell in China although output and new orders continued to rise.

Positive economic figures from the USA along with a fast growing economy rate also lent support to the oil price rise, according to the news agency.