The gains come on top of the roughly 1.4 percent gains achieved by the energy commodity on Wednesday. Legislators in the U.S., host of the world's largest economy and the globe's biggest consumer of oil, were set to present additional measures geared toward confronting the Middle Eastern nation's nuclear program.
Exports of the energy commodity from Iran have fallen by as much as 400,000 barrels per day, according to Barclays Capital.
"The consensus is that the EU embargo and U.S. sanctions are having a higher-than-expected impact," managing director Olivier Jakob with Petromatrix GmbH in Switzerland told Bloomberg. "On Iran now we have to wait a little bit to see the feeling coming out of the pre-negotiations."
At 9:14 a.m. on Thursday, crude oil futures increased 0.84 percent, a $1.04 lift to $125.16 per barrel.
Thus far this year, the price of crude oil futures has gained 8 percent, the primary driver being fear that Western nations' efforts to temper Iran's nuclear ambitions could lead to a military conflict in the region that has more than half of the globe's oil.
Dow Jones Newswires reports market sentiment was carefully tip-toeing amid returns from a deal regarding debt swap issues in Greece, which is working to accept its second tranche of international bailout aid since June 2010.
The market also was keeping an eye on developments with the European Central Bank and its decision on interest rates.
Investors are likely to keep a close eye on the deal unfolding in Greece to see how much private investment comes involved. The Aegean nation is attempting to stave off a defaulting on its financial obligations, which would chill regional markets and banks. A deadline for a payment is set for March 20.
Reuters reports uplifting economic data from the U.S. also helped drive the energy commodity higher. The U.S. Department of Labor is set to release a report on Friday that will indicate the private sector saw job creation hasten last month.
But one commodity sales manager said the focus is the Aegean nation and how it handles the tranche it is working on acquiring. The nation established a deadline by when banks and financial institutes may indicate they are partaking in the effort.
"There are still a lot of uncertainties on Greece ahead of today's deadline and the market is poised to move sharply up or down depending on what happens," commodity sales manager Ken Hasegawa with Newedge Japan in Tokyo told Reuters. "It's a very difficult situation to bet on either side and there is a possibility that the oil price movement will be larger than what we have seen over the last few days."
The effort in Greece aims to slash 100 billion euros-worth of debt from the nation.
But Greece also is preparing for national elections next month, which a sales trader indicated will spur a wave of uneasiness.
"Many traders point to the Greek elections as the real challenge to stability as neither of its two major parties appears to be able to ensure a majority," states a Thursday note penned by Ben Taylor with CMC Markets.
MarketWatch reports the energy commodity was gaining amid rising optimism regarding the Greek debt-swap pact.
Increases to crude oil futures also were prompted by news about the Trade Ministry of China laying plans to enhance the amount of energy and raw material it imports this year.
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