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Oil Rises in Asia on Supply Concerns

Latest Business News > SINGAPORE: Oil was higher in Asian trade Tuesday as worries about a possible disruption to Middle East crude supplies outweighed the gloom from the latest US jobs data, analysts said.

Oil rises in Asia

New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in May was up 24 cents at $102.70 per barrel while Brent North Sea crude for May gained nine cents to $122.76 in morning trade.

“The concerns about geopolitical tension and supply disruptions in the Middle East remain despite the underlying factors that pushed prices down in the past few days,” said Justin Harper, market strategist at IG Markets Singapore.

Major crude producer Iran on Monday confirmed that nuclear talks this week with world powers would take place in Istanbul on Saturday over Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme.

Iran last held talks with the so-called P5+1 powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — in January 2011 with no result.

The United States and other Western countries fear Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, but Tehran insists that its atomic programme is for exclusively peaceful purposes.

Iran has threatened to shut the strategic Strait of Hormuz — a major passageway for a fifth of the world’s oil supply — if the West imposes further sanctions.

Meanwhile, Kuwait is mulling “many scenarios” in case the Strait is closed, a top official said on Monday.

Kuwait pumps around 3.0 million barrels per day and most of it is exported as crude and refined products through the Strait. AFP

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