Iran to remain biggest short-term risk to oil prices in 2012: analysts

The developing situation in Iran will continue to be the biggest short-term driver of oil prices, as the EU prepares to potentially join the US in sanctions on Iranian crude and the closure of the strategic Strait of Hormuz remains a threat, say oil analysts

Crude oil prices

After the announcement by the EU on January 4 that it had decided in principle to join the US in imposing sanctions on Iranian crude, the price of February Ice Brent Crude futures rose almost $2 a barrel, rising from an opening price of $112.10/bbl to a high of $113.97/bbl.  

"The immediate reaction when the news came out was that oil prices shot up about a couple of dollars and so obviously the market was concerned about what the impact is going to be," says James Zhang, commodities strategist

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