Shafaq News / Oil prices took a breather on Wednesday after surging to seven-year highs the previous session as it became clear the first wave of U.S. and European sanctions on Russia for sending troops into eastern Ukraine would not disrupt oil supplies.
At the same time, the potential return of more Iranian crude to the market, with Tehran and world powers close to reviving a nuclear agreement, also kept a lid on prices.
Brent crude rose 30 cents, or 0.3%, to $97.14 a barrel at 0442 GMT, after soaring as high as $99.50 on Tuesday, the highest since Sept. 2014.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures also gained 30 cents, or 0.3%, to $92.21 a barrel, after hitting $96 on Tuesday.
"The NATO allies are holding back some punitive measures as bargaining chips, which also means the door to diplomacy is still open. The Iran nuclear deal remains a possibility until it is not," said Vandana Hari, founder of oil market analysis provider Vanda Insights.