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• Global crude oil prices continue to remain elevated relative to historical levels.
• Risks of a disruption in global oil supply have increased recently, due to growing international concerns over Iran’s nuclear program that have led the European Union to consider banning oil imports from Iran.• Data from the supply and demand side of the oil market continue to indicate upside risks to crude oil prices for 2012.• Lack of spare capacity and the low level of oil inventories is leaving the oil market vulnerable to higher than expected demand or to supply disappointments.
• The sharp rise in breakeven oil prices indicates that oil-exporting countries will likely be more willing to cut production to maintain high oil prices, raising the risk of further price spikes.