Singapore: World oil prices rose to near $100 a barrel in Asian trade on Monday, with Turkey’s military offensive in northern Iraq and reports Iran would back an OPEC output cut sparking fresh concerns, dealers said.
In morning trade, New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, was up 70 cents to $99.51 per barrel.
The contract closed 58 cents higher at $98.81 a barrel during floor trading on Friday at the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent North Sea crude for April delivery gained 76 cents to $97.77 a barrel, after settling 77 cents higher at $97.01 on Friday.
“Fresh geopolitical tensions in Turkey, Iraq and Iran have been driving prices up since Friday,” said Victor Shum, senior principal at Purvin and Gertz energy consultancy in Singapore.
Turkey confirmed Thursday that it had sent troops into northern Iraq to hunt down militants from the Kurdish Workers’ Party after Turkish fighter jets struck at their bases.
But Iraqi exports of 300,000 barrels of oil per day through Turkey have not been affected, the Iraqi oil ministry said Saturday.
Iraq’s northern oil fields are connected to the Turkish port of Ceyhan by a pipeline that crosses the two countries’ border in northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, where Turkish troops are fighting separatist rebels.
Most of Iraq’s oil, a further 1.6 million barrels per day, is exported through the southern port of Basra.
Iran’s Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari meanwhile said on Saturday that Tehran would back a plan to cut oil production at next month’s Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meeting.