Oil prices surge to near 4-year high

US Crude Edges Toward $70 as Traders Brace for Iran Decision

US Crude Edges Toward $70 as Traders Brace for Iran Decision

USA crude oil prices rose more than 70 U.S. cents, or 1.1 per cent, pushing above US$70 a barrel for the first time since November 2014 as the crisis in OPEC member state Venezuela threatened to further crimp its production and exports.

We kickoff the day with Export Inspections at 10:00 A.M., Consumer Credit at 2:00 P.M. and Crop Progress at 3:00 P.M. In the overnight electronic session the July Corn is now trading 403 ½ which is 2 ¾ cents lower.

The 2015 accord eased sanctions on OPEC's third-largest member in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, and renewed U.S. measures might stifle the Middle East nation's crude exports.

WTI is set for gain of 0.3 percent for the week.

The political situation in Venezuela, partially arising from and contributing to the economic crisis gripping the country, has meant the South American country has been unable to invest in its petrochemicals industry, and its output has fallen to about 1.5 million barrels a day, half its peak in the 2000s.

US oil firm ConocoPhillips (COP.N) has moved to take the Caribbean assets of Venezuela's state-run PDVSA to enforce a $2 billion arbitration award, actions that could further impair PDVSA's declining oil production and exports.

Pumpjacks are seen at Lake Maracaibo in Cabimas, Venezuela, Oct. 5, 2017.

The May 12 deadline for announcements on potential new US sanctions on Iran bolstered the market, said Bob Yawger, director at Mizuho. On the Crude Oil front the Iran deadline is looming and Oil punched through $70 a barrel and the top is not in yet.

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Trump has said that unless European allies rectify the "terrible flaws" in the global accord by May 12, he will refuse to extend USA sanctions relief for the oil-producing Islamic Republic.

But that is not a given.

Also supporting prices, North Sea oilfields connected to the Brent oil pipeline have stopped production due to a shutdown at the UK's Sullom Voe oil terminal, the Brent pipeline operator said, reducing output of the crude. Still, Iran is ruling out new talks, calling the current agreement "non-negotiable".

The price of oil has crossed $70/barrel and the trend is upwards.

A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf, Iran, July 25, 2005.

Oil prices edged up on Friday, extending the previous session's modest gains as looming geopolitical risks from possible new US sanctions against Iran supported the market. Crude at $60 to $65 a barrel is "suitable", an official from the OPEC producer said on Sunday, signaling a split with fellow group member Saudi Arabia that's said to be aiming for $80 oil.

In other futures trading Friday, July contracts rose by $1.32 to $69.58, August was up $1.36 to $69.12 and September jumped $1.40 to $68.82.

Looking at crude oil headlines, the commodity is rising thanks to ongoing concerns regarding Venezuelan and Iranian supply. Gasoline prices in the Orlando area have dropped 2.6 cents in the last week but are likely to increase in the coming days, analysts said. Market sources have estimated US exports to Europe would average 800,000 bpd between mid-May and mid-June, including 25 million barrels in May overall.

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