Iran cuts supply

Oil prices jumped to a nine-month high above $105 a barrel on Monday after Iran said it halted crude exports to Britain and France in an escalation of a dispute over the Middle Eastern country's nuclear program.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark March crude was up $1.91 to $105.15 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier in the day, it rose to $105.21, the highest since May. The contract rose 93 cents to settle at $103.24 per barrel in New York on Friday.

Markets in the United States are closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.

Iran's oil ministry said Sunday it stopped crude shipments to British and French companies in an apparent pre-emptive blow against the European Union after the bloc imposed sanctions on Iran's crucial fuel exports. They include a freeze of the country's central bank assets and an oil embargo set to begin in July.

Iran's Oil Minister Rostam Qassemi had warned earlier this month that Tehran could cut off oil exports to "hostile" European nations. The 27-nation EU accounts for about 18 percent of Iran's oil exports.

The EU sanctions, along with other punitive measures imposed by the U.S., are part of Western efforts to derail Iran's disputed nuclear program, which the West fears is aimed at developing atomic weapons. Iran denies the charges, and says its program is for peaceful purposes.

Analysts said Iran's announcement would likely have minimal impact on supplies, because only about 3 percent of France's oil consumption is from Iranian sources, while Britain had not imported oil from the Islamic republic in six months.

The price rise is more a reflection of concerns about the further escalation in tensions between Iran and the West, banning the tiny quantities of exports to the U.K. and France involves very little risk for Iran — indeed quite the opposite, it catches the headlines and leads to a higher global oil price, which is something Iran is very keen to encourage.

Oil prices also rose on hopes that Greece's new bailout deal will be approved on Monday as well as by China's decision to boost money supply bid to spur lending and economic growth. China's central bank said Saturday it will lower the ratio of funds that banks must hold as reserves, a move that frees tens of billions of dollars.

Oil has jumped from $96 earlier this month amid optimism the global economy may grow more this year than previously expected. However this is pure speculation — on Monday, the April Brent crude contract was up 79 cents at $120.37 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.



WorldWatch Portugal office has informed than the cartel in the petrol price fixing practiced in one of Europe’s oldest economies continues, even now as crude prices are below the $110.00 per barrel the final consumer price has once more gone up this year by more than 10 cents per litre... BP and Galp have the most expensive petrol consumer price in Portugal and one of the most expensive in the World, BP regular 95 Octane is fixed at 1,689 € per litre.
One of the most expensive in the world.
At the market price consumers should be paying for regular 95 Octane 1,359 € per litre, no wonder Portugal has the economy is serious difficulties and are about to become worse as new Tax rates have left the Country in a recession.
WorldWatch foresees a decline in consumption of 23% with the biggest drop being the demand for petrol. The cartel in the petrol price fixing has the approval of the Government as each litre of petrol sold to the consumer is heavily taxed. With the economical measures taken by the Government and the attitude of energy companies there will be no room for economical growth in Portugal.
We have the example of Grece...


Please note these details may be subject to change THE NEWEST NATION IN EUROPE… PORTAXLAND This European Nation has so many t...