Amid geopolitical tensions, oil prices gain to wrap up 2015

New York, Jan 1 (IANS) Oil prices moved up Thursday amid rising geopolitical tensions in Middle East.

The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday ordered to proceed the country’s missile program “with high speed and seriously” and expand Iran’s missile capabilities, in response to the U.S. sanctions, official news agency IRNA reported.

President Rouhani’s remarks followed the US Treasury Department’s recent announcement that it was considering sanctions against a number of Iranian and international individuals and agencies for their alleged involvement in developing Iran’s ballistic missile programme.

Iran is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which is supposed to add more crude output in 2016 after the lift of sanctions.

Oil prices were dragged down recently by the global supply glut. The OPEC on December 4 decided to keep crude production pumping at the current level in the already over supplied market.

Thanks to the US shale oil revolution, American oil production has almost doubled in the past six years.

The West Texas Intermediate for February delivery moved up 44 cents to settle at $37.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for February delivery increased 82 cents to close at $37.28 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

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