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Oil Prices Near 9-Month High

Greek deal, Iran crisis contribute to surge.

by on Feb.21, 2012

Prices in California could soon near last year's peak.

Oil prices are approaching a 9-month high raising the specter that gas could again top $4 a gallon in the weeks ahead.

The latest surge follows the early morning agreement to resolve the Greek debt crisis along with Iran’s decision to halt petroleum exports to both Britain and France.  Iran currently provides about 18% of the oil used by the European Union but is threatening to further tighten supplies in retaliation for sanctions meant to block its nuclear energy program.

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With oil floating around $105 a barrel on Tuesday morning trading, there is also a growing likelihood that gas prices could become a key issue in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, GOP candidate Newt Gingrich tweeting his followers that, “gas prices are unacceptable”.

Petroleum has been moving up for weeks but the latest surge began when Iran announced a halt to exports to Britain and France, both strong supporters of sanctions aimed at getting Iran to back down on what many believe to be a program to develop nuclear weapons.