Crude oil prices gained in Asian trade Wednesday on fears that growing tensions between Iran and Western powers may threaten crude supplies from the Middle East.
Light sweet crude for February delivery gained 8 cents to $101.42 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange during Asian trading hours.
Crude oil futures surged more than $2 Tuesday on concerns about possible supply disruptions after Iran threatened to cut off the flow of oil through the crucial Strait of Hormuz, the world's largest shipping route for crude oil.
According to Iran's official news agency IRNA, Vice President Mohamed Reza Rahimi said Tuesday that "not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz if Western nations apply sanctions upon Iranian oil exports."
Meanwhile, the Iranian navy has been conducting drills and "war games" near Hormuz, suggesting it is not afraid to assert its ability to halt oil shipments out of the region and challenge Europe and the U.S.
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