The price of Brent crude oil opened above $70 per barrel at trading start on Monday, sustaining its five-month highs as global oil supply tightens with OPEC+ cuts, and with sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.
The international benchmark traded at $70.61 a barrel at 0540 GMT with a 0.4 percent gain after it closed Friday at $70.34 per barrel, according to official figures. On Thursday, Brent oil climbed above $70 per barrel -- its highest level since Nov. 12.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) registered at $63.35 per barrel at the same time, posting a 0.4 percent increase, after ending Friday at $63.08 a barrel.
Crude prices have been on the rise since the beginning of 2019 as overall oil supply is tightening around the world. While Brent oil gained 31 percent since the start of 2019, WTI rose 39 percent from year-to-date, according to official figures.
Due to U.S.' sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, both countries' oil production levels are in decline, and are expected to account for a total of 1.76 million barrels per day (bpd) in lost output this year.
In addition, the supply cut deal of Saudi Arabia-led OPEC and Russia led non-OPEC continues to put an upward pressure on crude prices.
Dubbed as OPEC+, the cartel and its allies agreed on Dec. 7, 2018 to lower total production by 1.2 million bpd for the first six months of 2019.
By Ovunc Kutlu