LONDON (AFP) -World oil prices rose slightly, remaining above 61 dollars per barrel a day after falling heavily owing to mild weather in the United States.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February, gained one cent to 61.11 dollars per barrel in electronic deals before the official opening of the US market Wednesday.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for February delivery climbed 20 cents to 61.30 dollars in electronic trading.
Crude oil futures had fallen sharply on Tuesday as the market focused on mild US winter temperatures that are expected to reduce demand for heating oil.
Light sweet crude closed down 1.31 dollars and Brent ended 1.32 dollars lower, despite the United Nations Security Council voting at the weekend to impose sanctions against major oil producer Iran over development of its nuclear energy programme.
Before the UN decision, some analysts had argued that Iran could cut its oil exports in response to sanctions. However many market watchers believe Iran would be unlikely to cut off its major source of revenue, namely oil exports.
Iran’s parliament did though Wednesday approve a bill obliging the government to “revise its cooperation” with the UN nuclear watchdog in retaliation for the Security Council sanctions slapped on Tehran.
The text of the bill, which also tells the government to “accelerate” Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, was approved by an overwhelming majority in the conservative-controlled parliament, with 161 in favour and 15 against.
After weeks of diplomatic wrangling, the UN Security Council on Saturday adopted a resolution which imposes restrictions on Iran’s nuclear industry and ballistic missile programme.