Oil prices hit their highest since November on Tuesday after Washington announced all waivers on imports of sanctions-hit Iranian oil would end next week, pressuring importers to stop buying from Tehran and further tightening global supply. The United States on Monday demanded that buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers which allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue importing limited volumes.
Oil prices reached a four-year high of over $81 per barrel following the decision by Saudi Arabia and Russia to reject President Trump’s calls to increase production. While Saudi Arabia leads the OPEC cartel, Russia is the biggest oil producer outside of the group. Producers discussed increasing the output by 500,000 barrels each day.
Oil prices reached their lowest point in over eight months as fears of slowed demand persist. West Texas Intermediate, a measure of US oil prices, and international benchmark Brent dropped following a reduced forecast in global oil demand for next year by cartel Opec. On the other hand, natural gas futures reached their highest point in nearly four years.
The Trump administration announced allowance of new offshore oil and gas drilling in United States coastal waters, including access to leases off California, and the opening of more than a billion acres along the Eastern seaboard and in the Arctic. The proposal damages Barack Obama’s environmental legacy, as Trump administration continues prioritizing energy production.