Oil price hits four-year peak

Brent crude peaked at $82.20, the highest figure seen since November 2014

By Jonny Bairstow

The price of oil has hit four-year highs.

Brent crude prices closed $0.74 (£0.56) up at $81.94 (£62.28) a barrel, putting it on course for its fifth consecutive quarterly increase.

At its peak it reached $82.20 (£62.48), the highest figure seen since November 2014.

The rise has been largely driven by upcoming US sanctions on Iranian crude exports and reluctance from OPEC and Russia to offset this with increased output.

US crude futures were up $0.44 cents (£0.33) at $72.52 (£55.12) a barrel.

In the last week OPEC suggested world oil production will soar to new heights over the next five years, as it expects an expansion in demand from airlines to offset lower petrol use brought about by the increasing adoption of electric cars.

OPEC expects global oil demand to reach nearly 112 million barrels per day by 2040, up from current figures of nearly 100 million, with the bulk of the increase in production to come from countries such as the US, China and India.

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