Middle East & African tensions lead to oil price jump

By Hilton Price

Concern over Iran and other nations involved in conflicts led to a crude oil price jump Thursday. Brent crude futures for February rose $1.41 to $113.65 a barrel. U.S. crude jumped above $102.

Iran continues threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, a key location for oil shipments from the Middle East. The U.S. has imposed sanctions on the country, and is encouraging friendly nations to discontinue using Iranian oil. Japan has been receptive. The country is pledging to cut its crude imports from Iran.

Tensions in Syria are also affecting oil prices. Social and political unrest has been ongoing there, and recently led to the death of a foreign journalist working in the country.

Ongoing protests in Nigeria over a scrapped fuel subsidy could be signs of future trouble. The country’s major oil union is threatening a halt to output if the subsidy is not reinstated by the Nigerian government.

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