Iranian Shadow

LONDON, Apr. 28 (AFP) – World oil prices eased Friday on receding worries over US motor oil supplies but held above 70 dollars per barrel on rising tensions over Iran’s disputed nuclear programme. UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei was expected to report that Iran had failed to meet Friday’s deadline to stop enriching uranium, opening the door to possible sanctions against the world’s fourth-largest crude producer.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June, fell 33 cents to 70.64 dollars per barrel in electronic deals before the market’s official opening.

In London, the price of Brent North Sea crude for June delivery lost 35 cents to 70.56 dollars per barrel in electronic trade.

In recent weeks, US gasoline or petrol stocks have been a major cause of record high crude prices, alongside heightened tensions in key oil producers Iran and Nigeria, combined with strong global energy demand.

New York crude hit 75.35 dollars per barrel on Monday — matching a record level struck last Friday.

Brent crude, meanwhile, had reached a historic peak of 74.79 dollars last Friday.

Iran’s hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad poured fresh scorn on the United Nations