Oil markets jumped on Monday on concerns over potential renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran as well as conflict in Iraq, while an explosion at a U.S. oil rig and reduced exploration activity supported prices there. Ciara Lee reports.
BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~** Broadcasters: NO ACCESS BBC PERSIAN, NO ACCESS MANOTO, NO ACCESS VOA PERSIAN, NO ACCESS IRAQ Digital: NO ACCESS BBC PERSIAN, NO ACCESS MANOTO, NO ACCESS VOA PERSIAN) Oil markets jumped in morning trade. As Iraqi forces made a move towards an important air base held by Kurdish forces near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk Iraq is the second biggest oil producer within OPEC behind Saudi Arabia. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PEPPERSTONE, MARKET ANALYST, DARREN SINDEN, SAYING: "The possibility of a civil war perhaps in Iraq with Kurdish forces fighting both the Iraqi army and possibly the Iranian militias, does not play well with the world's oil traders. So the perception is that prices will rise until that event risk is completely characterised shall we say, and understood." Concerns also mounted for potenial renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump has refused to certify that Tehran is complying with its nuclear agreement - as he must every 90 days. Congress now has 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions - despite international inspectors saying Tehran is complying. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PEPPERSTONE, MARKET ANALYST, DARREN SINDEN, SAYING: "Donald Trump is talking a tough game. He never was a fan of the deal in the first place, and the Republicans generally weren't." International Brent crude futures were up 65 cents - over 1 percent from the previous close. An explosion overnight at an oil rig in Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain drew market attention too, injuring at least six people.