Crude prices in global markets have once again seen a hike following Iran’s decision to terminate oil sales to certain European countries.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate crude for May, climbed USD1.84 from Wednesday's closing level to settle at USD103.31 a barrel on Thursday.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in May finished at USD123.43 a barrel, having gained $US1.09.
Brent Crude, a primary international oil benchmark, has risen by over 12 percent since the beginning of the current year.
“The global economy is still recovering and these sorts of prices knock that back a bit, so certainly we should see prices lower,” Simon Wardell, an oil analyst with IHS Global Insight was quoted by the euronews television channel as saying on Thursday.
Oil prices have shot up in recent months in the wake of Iran’s decision to halt its crude sales to certain European countries in response to the European Union (EU) oil embargo on Tehran.
Tehran also announced it may halt oil exports to more European countries.
On January 23, European Union foreign ministers approved some sanctions against Iran, including a ban on Iranian oil imports, a freeze on the assets of the country’s Central Bank within EU states and a ban on selling diamonds, gold, and other precious metals to Tehran.
The EU has placed the oil sanctions against Iran in a bid to pressure Tehran over its nuclear energy program, based on allegations that Iran is seeking to weaponize its nuclear technology.
Iran has rejected the Western allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.