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Last Updated: Monday, 1 May 2006, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Iran dispute pushes up oil prices
A woman points to a graph showing the recent surge in oil prices
The oil price trajectory continues to be upwards
Crude oil prices have risen yet again in Monday trading due to the West's ongoing nuclear dispute with Iran.

As Iran appears to ignore a United Nations deadline to stop enriching uranium, US light crude was up 57 cents to $72.45 by mid-afternoon in Europe.

Meanwhile, London's Brent had gained 58 cents to $72.60 in quiet trading due to it being a Bank Holiday in the UK.

Traders fear Iran's oil exports could be hit by a US-led trade embargo unless it backs down over the nuclear dispute.

On Sunday Iran's top nuclear negotiator said his country was "allergic to the suspension" of uranium enrichment.

Nigerian unrest

Iran, the second-largest exporter in oil producing nations group Opec, insists its nuclear ambitions are limited to building power stations, but the US fears that Tehran aims to build nuclear weapons.

Another factor putting upward pressure on global oil prices is ongoing instability in Nigeria, Africa's largest producer.

Since the start of this year, anti-government militants in the main oil producing Delta region have carried out a number of attacks on oil facilities, and even kidnapped a group of foreign workers.

US petrol (gasoline) prices added 1.2 cents to $2.10 a gallon on Monday, while heating oil prices increased by 2.21 cents to $2.04.

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