Oil spikes as possible US exit from Iran nuclear deal puts hundreds of thousands of barrels at risk

  • Oil climbed Thursday morning on concerns the US will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
  • The deal would put hundreds of thousands of barrels at risk, according to experts.
  • Follow oil prices in real time here.

Oil rose Thursday morning as markets poised themselves for the possibility of a US exit from the Iran nuclear deal.

West Texas Intermediate was up about 1% to $US68.70 a barrel at 8:45 a.m. ET. Brent – the international benchmark – was trading flat, but held near three-year highs.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday that it’s his “bet” that President Donald Trump will pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. Macron visited Washington this week in an effort to convince Trump to the preserve the deal, but was seemingly unsuccessful.

If Trump withdraws from the deal, the US would could reimpose hefty sanctions on Iran, who would in turn lose incentive to curb its nuclear program. Some experts think that could put up to 350,000 barrels of crude at risk, CNBC reports.

On top of that, barrels from Saudi Arabia – the biggest oil producer – are also at risk as oil facilities in the country have reportedly come under attack. Yemeni rebels say they have fired missiles and drones at the state-run oil company Aramco eight times since last month, according to the Wall Street Journal. Saudi Arabia says it was able to intercept all of those, sparing Aramco from any operational disruptions so far.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.