Oil prices jump as US rigs evacuated

Oil prices jump as US rigs evacuated
Ship-tracking data now points at a reduction in Iranian exports.

london - Storm Gordon to make US landfall as hurricane

Oil prices rose on Tuesday after the evacuation of two Gulf of Mexico oil platforms in preparation for a hurricane.

US light crude jumped $1.60 a barrel from Friday's close to a peak of $71.40, its highest since mid-July, before easing to around $70.65 by 1340 GMT. US markets were closed on Monday for Labour Day.

Benchmark Brent crude, which traded on Monday, was up 80 cents at $78.95 a barrel, having earlier reached a high of $79.72, its strongest since May.

"The bull party is in full swing this morning as oil prices explode to the upside thanks to a weather-related jolt," said PVM analyst Stephen Brennock.

"The US crude marker is leading the energy complex as a fast-approaching tropical storm triggers a spate of evacuations and production shut ins across the US Gulf Coast."

Anadarko Petroleum Corp said on Monday it had evacuated and shut production at two oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of the approach of Gordon, which is expected to come ashore as a hurricane.

Global oil markets have tightened over the last month, pushing up Brent prices by more than 10 per cent since the middle of August. Investors anticipate less supply from Iran as US sanctions on Tehran begin to bite. - Reuters

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