Oil prices rose today as increasing tensions with Iran forced the West to prepare to release their strategic oil reserves.

Brent crude rose 48 cents to $123.08 a barrel, while US crude climbed 36 cents to $105.47.

New sanctions on Iran from the West are due to come into effect in a few months and are aimed at banning oil shipments to Europe.

The UK and the US are now preparing to tap into their own oil reserves to make up for the supply shortage, reports Reuters.