Crude oil prices slipped Friday, but West Texas Intermediate and Brent both posted a weekly gain on rising concerns over more Middle East supply disruptions due to U.S.-Iran political tension, Kallanish Energy reports.
A deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said Friday Iran could “easily” hit U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, the latest rhetoric in days of back and forth between Washington and Tehran.
U.S. sanctions on Iran have already cut the Opec member’s crude exports further in May, adding to supply curbs implemented through the Opec+ pact to cap output for the first six months of the year.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled 11 cents lower Friday, at $62.76 per barrel. WTI posted a weekly gain of 1.8%, the first increase in four weeks.
Brent crude futures fell 41 cents, to $72.21/Bbl, but was up 2.3% for the week, posting its first gain in three weeks.
Iran’s foreign ministry Friday rejected accusations by Saudi Arabia that Tehran had ordered an attack on Saudi oil installations claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi militia.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are “highly likely” to have facilitated attacks on May 12, on four tankers, including two Saudi ships off Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, according to a Norwegian insurers’ report seen by Reuters.
A Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen carried out several air strikes on the Houthi-held capital Sanaa last Thursday.
Besides the drop in Iranian exports, Russian shipments have been disrupted and the North Sea is also in tighter supply due to oilfield maintenance and outages.
The market is also awaiting a decision from Opec+ representatives, the group which includes most Opec members, along with a number of non-Opec producers led by Russia, over whether to continue supply cuts that have boosted prices more than 30% year-to-date.
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