Oil prices soar again, cross $68/ barrel

Oil price rose further above 68 Dollars a barrel on Thursday to the highest since May 2015, supported by unrest in Iran that raised concerns about supply risks, cold weather in the U.S., boosting demand and OPEC-led output cuts.

Six days of anti-government protests in OPEC’s third-largest producer added a geopolitical risk premium to oil prices, although Iran’s production and exports had not been affected.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, was unchanged at as high as 68.27d. U.S. crude rose 20 cents to 61.83 Dollars and also touched the highest since May 2015.

“The protests in Iran add more fuel to the already bullish oil market mood,” said Norbert Rucker, head of commodity research at Swiss bank Julius Baer.

“We believe that today’s oil prices project an overly rosy picture, stick to our cautious view and see the market at risk of profit-taking,” Rucker added.

Freezing weather in the U.S. spurred short-term demand, especially for heating oil.

Aside from the spike in May 2015, oil is trading at its highest since December 2014 – the month in which the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to stop cutting output, a move that deepened price collapse. (Reuters/NAN)