Brent oil jumps to four-year high near $81
Early on Sept. 24, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November soared to a peak of $80.94 per barrel. That was the highest level since November 12, 2014.
The benchmark Brent contract later stood at $80.85, up $2.05 from the close on Sept. 21.
New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or light sweet crude for delivery in November, added $1.52 to $72.30 after earlier striking a two-month pinnacle.
Oil leapt after the world’s top producers decided to maintain output during a meeting in Algeria at the weekend.
A committee comprised of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel and non-OPEC producers said it was satisfied with the current market outlook, which represented “an overall healthy balance between supply and demand.”
However, Saudi Arabia’s influential oil minister Khalid al-Falih left the way open to a future production hike, as supplies tighten due to the U.S. imposing sanctions on Iranian oil from November this year.
“The Algiers meeting did not bring about an increase in output -- and that is fuelling the rally.
“Fears that supply will be hit when the U.S. sanctions on Iran kick in come November are pushing up oil prices.”
OPEC in December 2016 concluded an agreement with non-member states - including Russia - to reduce output in order to arrest sliding prices.