Oil rises above US$84 as Iran sanctions tighten


SINGAPORE–Oil rose above US$84 a barrel Tuesday in Asia as tighter sanctions against Iran threaten to restrict crude supplies while demand holds up despite Europe’s debt crisis.

Benchmark oil for August delivery was up 39 U.S. cents at US$84.14 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell US$1.21 to close at US$83.75 in New York on Monday.

In London, Brent crude for August delivery was up 28 cents at US$97.62 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

In other energy trading, heating oil was up 1.5 cents at US$2.69 per gallon while gasoline futures advanced 1.3 cents at US$2.64 per gallon. Natural gas gained 1.6 cents at US$2.84 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Crude plunged to US$77 last week from US$106 two months ago on expectations slowing growth in the U.S., Europe and China would reduce oil consumption.

However, some analysts say investors have been too pessimistic about the global economy and, outside of Europe, crude demand has held up so far.