Oil held near four-year highs on Thursday, supported by the imminent loss of Iranian supply through U.S. sanctions, but also tempered by the prospect of a rapid production boost from Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were down 19 cents at $86.10 a barrel by 1133 GMT, having risen to a late 2014 high of $86.74 the day before. U.S. crude futures CLc1 fell 17 cents on the day to $76.24.
“Prices will probably rise further into overshoot territory. Once we see $90 I would expect decisive supply reaction,” Commerzbank strategist Carsten Fritsch told the Reuters Global Oil Forum.
“Major economies won’t let oil prices rise to triple digits and harm economic growth.”
Nitin Gadkari, India’s transport minister, said his country faced “economic crisis” due to its huge oil imports, two local TV channels reported.