Crude Oil Prices Approach $80 a Barrel

Barrel prices are rising this Friday as U.S. sanctions against Iran threatened to withdraw a significant volume of crude oil from the oil markets at a time of growing global demand for oil.

At 10:00 a.m. Colombian time, the Brent rose 1.77%, or $1.38, to $79.23 a barrel after rising $1.49 to $79.34 a barrel. Meanwhile, light crude oil in the United States lost 0.68 cents, or 0.95%, at $74.15 per barrel.

Iran is the fifth largest global oil producer. It pumps about 4.7 million barrels per day (bpd), equivalent to almost 5 percent of the world’s crude oil, and much of that volume goes to China and other fuel-demanding nations like India.

The U.S. government wants to prevent Tehran from exporting crude oil to reduce Iranians’ financial access. Washington also hopes that the members of the Opep and Russia will compensate for the deficit that would occur.

But the world oil market is already tight and many analysts and big investors believe that the U.S. sanctions against Iran will cause oil prices to escalate sharply. Large buyers of Iranian oil, including Japan, India and South Korea, have said they could stop buying Iranian oil if the sanctions are implemented.

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