Oil prices up as geopolitical tensions in Middle East fuel supply concerns

Oil prices up as geopolitical tensions in Middle East fuel supply concerns
Oil prices up as geopolitical tensions in Middle East fuel supply concerns

Africa-Press – Eritrea. Oil prices increased on Thursday after five-month highs due to strong demand forecasts in the US, the world’s biggest oil consumer, and rising concerns over global oil supply routes in the Middle East.

International benchmark Brent crude traded at $90.61 per barrel as of 0739 GMT, a 0.14% increase from the closing price of $90.48 per barrel in the previous trading session.

The American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $85.28 per barrel at the same time, a 0.08% rise from the previous session that closed at $85.21 per barrel.

The conflict between Israel and Palestine continues to put global energy supply routes at risk.

Three sons of the head of the political bureau of the Palestinian group Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, along with four of his grandchildren, were killed Wednesday in an Israeli airstrike on a refugee camp in western Gaza City. Prices rose as this fed concerns for the chances of a cease-fire in Gaza, where over six months of Israeli attacks have left over 33,500 Palestinians killed.

The sides began a fresh round of talks earlier this week, with the discussions yet to yield a breakthrough.

Further, a missile strike on the Iranian Consulate in the Syrian capital, Damascus, resulting in the killing of a top commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and six other officers, has also exacerbated tensions in the region, where busy energy supply routes are located.

Tensions between Israel and Iran further rose on Wednesday, when Tehran vowed to avenge the attack, while Tel Aviv expressed readiness to retaliate if attacked.

However, data showing that US commercial crude oil inventories and gasoline rose last week indicated low demand, limiting upward oil price movements.

According to the US Energy Information Administration, commercial crude oil inventories in the country increased by about 5.8 million barrels last week, while gasoline inventories rose by about 700,000 barrels.

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