Oil prices rose on Friday as U.S. sanctions against Iran threatened to remove a substantial volume of crude from world markets at a time of rising global demand.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude ended Friday's session up 70 cents, or 1 percent, at $74.15, its best closing price since Nov. 24, 2014. WTI hit a session peak of $74.46, also its highest level since November 2014.
Brent crude rose $1.59, or 2 percent, to $79.44, just shy of a 3½-year closing price.
"All the potential shortfalls could outstrip the production increase agreed to by OPEC and Russia," said Dominick Chirichella, Director of Risk Management at EMI DTN. There's a risk that supplies from Iran could be cut further as there's pressure on other countries to join the United States in sanctions, he said.
Iran is the fifth-largest oil producer in the world, pumping about 4.7 million barrels per day (bpd), or almost 5 percent of world's oil, much of it to China and other energy-hungry nations such as India.