Shares in global oil and gas companies have surged during the current quarter, boosted by rising oil prices, improving earnings and promises of hefty cash returns to shareholders. The strong share price performance in both Europe and the US represents a significant reversal of fortunes for the energy sector, as the price of oil has surged towards $80 a barrel, up 15 per cent since the end of March. US president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal has helped drive prices to their highest levels since oil traded at $100 per barrel in 2014, as investors anticipate the potential loss of 1m barrels of oil per day from the market. Iran currently exports about 2.3m barrels of oil per day. The MSCI European Energy index, comprised of European resources companies including Shell and Eni, is up 16 per cent from the end of March to now. In comparison, the broader Euro Stoxx 50 has gained just 6 per cent.