Oil prices rose on Tuesday as the Unites State sanctions squeezed Iranian crude exports, tightening global supply despite efforts by Washington to get other producers to increase output.
Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 was up 40 cents at $77.77 a barrel by 0950 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was up 5 cents at $67.59.
“The path of least resistance for oil prices, given the supply fundamentals, remains up,” Harry Tchilinguirian, oil strategist at BNP Paribas, told Reuters Global Oil Forum.
Washington has told its allies to reduce imports of Iranian oil and several Asian buyers, including South Korea, Japan and India appear to be falling in line.
However, the U.S. government says it does not want to push up oil prices, which could depress economic activity or even trigger a slowdown in global growth.