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Deepening crisis in Venezuela, Iran push crude oil above $70


Crude oil prices jumped with the start of the week to break the psychological level of $70 a barrel for the first time since November 2014, as it found support from the concerns about the reduction of oil supplies in light of the current crisis in Iran and Venezuela.

US crude futures rose 1.4% from today's low of $69.70 a barrel to $70.67 a barrel, the highest level since late 2014 This comes after crude oil rose 4.7% last week.

The economic deterioration in Venezuela, a major crude exporter and a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has threatened to reduce investment in the field of exploration for crude oil, which would disrupt oil supplies from Venezuela.

Venezuela's oil production has halved since the beginning of the new millennium to only 1.5 million barrels a day due to its failure to maintain investments to support the country's oil sector.

As for Iran, the crisis remained unresolved over the withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear deal with Tehran and the re-imposition of new economic sanctions, including cutting off imports from Iranian oil, which would limit the supply from the oil-rich country.

U.S. President Donald Trump has a deadline until May 12 to make a decision on an international agreement with Tehran over its nuclear program, with expectations of the U.S. withdrawal and the restoration of sanctions, which will probably keep eyes on the crisis Tehran is this week.

Separately, last week, the United States reported the number of oil rigs operating in the past week, and the report showed that drilling rigs increased by nine to 834 diggers, the highest level since March 2015.

However, the report failed to negatively affect oil price levels due to the concentration of markets on the crisis in Iran.

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