This comes at a time when demand for oil is likely to rise due to growth recovery in the First World.
However, the strong close outs of the year herald what many experts say is the inevitable outcome of high prices: increased us production in 2018, which will clash directly with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) ongoing attempt via its extended output cutbacks to rebalance the market. Brent crude futures hit US$67, highest since May 2015 on Tuesday following fears of a supply glut.
"Geopolitical risks are clearly back on the crude oil agenda after having been absent nearly entirely since the oil market ran into a surplus in the second half of 2014", Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at SEB, said, also citing Kurdistan and Libya.
"If we don't see that pattern continue then, we could see a significant correction".
The new year's $60-plus crude prices may be as good as it gets for oil traders if Moody's Investors Service has it right.
Specifically, slightly more than half the survey's respondents expect the rig count to continue to climb six months from now, but almost all said oil above $60 will be needed for a substantial increase.
Even without the unrest in Iran, which is a major oil exporter, market sentiment was bullish.
The fall in United States crude oil inventories and U.S. crude oil production could be behind oil's gain.
Pipeline outages in Libya and the North Sea have supported oil prices, although both disruptions are expected to be resolved by early January. Iranian oil industry and shipping sources said protests have had no impact so far on oil production or exports.
Russia's oil production in December 2017 was 10.95 million bpd, up from 10.94 million bpd in November, driven by 0.2-percent growth in production at the biggest oil firm, Rosneft.