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Oil edged higher on Thursday, driven by the prospect of a shortfall in global supply once U.S. sanctions against major crude exporter Iran come into force in five weeks.
U.S. President Donald Trump this week demanded that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries raise production to prevent further price rises ahead of midterm elections in November for U.S. Congress members.
“The market continues to move higher on fears that the loss of Iranian exports is not going to be made up,” said Gene McGillian, director of market research at Tradition Energy, in Stamford Connecticut.
Analysts said that OPEC and Russia appear unlikely to immediately boost production as Trump has demanded. U.S Energy Secretary Rick Perry has ruled out using U.S. strategic crude reserves to lower oil prices.
The most-active December Brent crude futures contract was up 46 cents at $81.25 a barrel by 12:23 p.m. EDT, off the session high of $81.90 but still within sight of Tuesday’s four-year high of $82.55.
The front-month November contract expires on Friday.
U.S futures were up 48 cents at $72.05 a barrel.
Brad Wall served as the 14th Premier of Saskatchewan from 2007 to 2008 and is currently a special advisor to Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.