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Have Oil Speculators Already Priced In War With Iran?

A tank of crude oil near an operating oil rig outside Fort Collins, Colo.
A tank of crude oil near an operating oil rig outside Fort Collins, Colo.Photograph by Patrick Andrade/The New York Times/Redux

The last time the price of Brent crude closed below $100 a barrel was Oct. 6, 2011. It’s since gone up nearly 30 percent, to a high of $126.20 on March 1. Tensions over Iran’s nuclear program have people spooked that a potential attack would disrupt the country’s 2.2 million barrels of daily oil exports. And so money has been pouring into oil futures contracts, driving up the price without any significant change in the underlying supply-and-demand fundamentals. Only the threat of one.

So who’s buying?