Crude oil prices surged as high as 2% on Thursday as tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia continue to escalate over Saudi-led coalition’s launch of air strikes on Iran in retaliation of the latter’s attack on Saudi’s oil infrastructure.
U.S West Texas Intermediate crude settled 85 cents higher at $62.87 per barrel, gaining 1.4% and closing at the highest level in two weeks. Likewise, Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, also surged 85 cents or 1.2%, to close at $72.62 touching its highest level in three weeks.
The Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen were launched after the Iranian-aligned movement admitted their drone attacks on two Saudi oil pumping stations earlier in the week. Owing to this escalated tension, oil markets will have a tough time trading lower in near future.
Iran’s attack and Saudi’s subsequent retaliation have put pressure on oil supply in the Middle East. Asian shippers heading to the Middle East have been duly alerted by the concerned countries and are expecting possible rise in marine insurance premiums post the attack.
The problem is further worsened as OPEC and other oil producing countries will continue with their supply cut that has already rise oil prices by more than 30%. The OPEC members are scheduled to meet in June to rethink the pact.