Oil rose above $68 a barrel to its highest since May 2015 on Thursday after unrest in Iran raised concerns about supply risks, with support also coming from OPEC-led output cuts and demand-boosting cold weather in the United States.
Six days of anti-government protests in OPEC’s third-largest producer have added a geopolitical risk premium to oil prices, though Iran’s production and exports have not been affected.
Brent crude LCOc1, the international benchmark, was down 11 cents at $67.73 a barrel by 1455 GMT but traded as high as $68.27 earlier in the session. U.S. crude CLc1 rose 4 cents to $61.67 and also touched its highest since May 2015.
“There is enough support for prices with the cold in the U.S. and the geopolitical factor,” said Petromatrix oil analyst Olivier Jakob.