West Texas Crude Hits $70, the First Time Since November of 2014


Concerns that President Trump may withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which could further constrain the already tight world oil market, pushed benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil above $70 a barrel today for the first time since November of 2014, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Global oil prices have been rising for months, pushed higher by cutbacks in production by both OPEC and Russia, strong demand due to the robust economy, and steep production drops by Venezuela, which is the country with the largest proven oil reserves, but it being crippled by economic mismanagement.

Gas prices have also risen due to the switch of more expensive cleaner burning summer blend gasoline which is required by the U.S. EPA.

Today's jump in oil prices is caused by the fact that the Trump Administration has until Saturday to decide whether to withdraw from the Iran deal, which lifted western sanctions and allowed Iran to ramp up oil exports.

A reimposition of sanctions would lead to significant drops in Iranian crude exports, and would further tighten global oil supplies

.According to research from GasBuddy.com, San Antonio's average price of gas today is $2.49, which is unchanged over the past week.  But we are paying 19 cents more a gallon than we paid one month ago, and 32 cents more than we were paying on May 7, 2017.

The difference is even starker when you go back to May of 2016, when San Antonio's average gas price was $1.96.

"While we may not be out of the woods yet, especially with President Trump mulling over the Iran nuclear deal, it's possible we're very close. Much will depend on his decision on the subject. Killing the deal may inflict more pain on motorists as it may lead to sanctions placed on Iran and their oil production, which would likely push oil prices higher," Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy said in a statement.

"Motorists should expect the national average to drift around in the upper $2 per gallon range for much of the summer."