UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Oil prices closed slightly lower on Friday, although Brent crude hit a third consecutive week of gains amid concern over crude supplies if the United States reinstates sanctions on Iran.
Brent crude futures closed at 10 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $ 74.64 a barrel. Earlier this month, global benchmark crude jumped to its highest level since late 2014 above $ 75 a barrel.
US WTI crude fell 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, to settle at $ 68.10 a barrel.
Brent climbed nearly 0.5 percent this week, its third consecutive weekly gain, while US crude ended the week with a loss of about 0.5 percent.
US President Donald Trump will make a decision by May 12 on whether he will re-impose sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the agreement on its nuclear program. Renewal of sanctions is likely to have a negative impact on Iran’s oil exports and may hinder the global supply of crude.
“This is the biggest factor now driving the market … the market is waiting for what will happen,” said Rob Thomile, portfolio manager at Turtis Capital, an energy investment management firm in Leawood, Kansas.