Crude oil prices are rising again as diplomats toughened their talk about referring Iran to the United Nations over its refusal to abandon nuclear research.
The New York Mercantile Exchange was closed on Monday for a holiday, but in London the cost of Brent went over 63 dollars a barrel, near to its highest in three months.
Iran, which produces around 5% of the world’s oil, has warned that prices could rise sharply if it is subjected to punative international sanctions.
Last year it pumped 4.26 million barrels per day .. and exported 2.72 million barrels per day, earning it 41 billion dollars, that is almost 34 billion euros at today’s exchange rate.
Also putting pressure on prices are disruptions to output in Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer .. which pumps about two and a half million barrels a day.
Nigerian oil production was reduced over the last week by violence in the Niger River delta region.
Shell, which is the biggest foreign operator in the country, said it has begun evacuated staff from some facilities in the region.
That was after an oil platform was attacked by militants and a major Shell pipeline blown up.
The Nigeria military is attempting to rescue four oil workers who were kidnapped last week.