West Texas Intermediate and Brent crudes rose Friday after attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week raised concerns about potential supply disruptions, Kallanish Energy reports.
But prices remained on track for a weekly loss on fears trade disputes will lower global oil demand.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures settled 23 cents higher at $52.74 a barrel. Brent crude futures rose 70 cents, or 1.1%, to $62.01/Bbl.
Futures briefly gained Friday as Iranian military boats in the Gulf of Oman were preventing two privately-owned tug boats from towing away one of the oil tankers.
The attacks near Iran and the Strait of Hormuz pushed up crude by as much as 4.5% Thursday.
It was the second time in a month tankers have been attacked in the world’s most important area for oil supplies as tensions increase between the U.S. and Iran.
Washington has continually blamed Iran for Thursday’s attacks, blame which Iran denies and criticizes.
Still, Brent was on course to register a weekly decline of more than 1.5% and WTI crude fell 2.7% on the week.
The International Energy Agency cut its demand growth forecast for 2019 by 100,000 barrels per day to 1.2 million Bpd (Mmbpd), citing worsening prospects for world trade. The Paris-based agency also said it expects demand growth to climb to 1.4 Mmbpd next year.
On Thursday Opec cut its 2019 forecast for growth in global oil demand even lower than the IEA, to 1.14 Mmbpd.
Looking at supply, U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, the continuing out cut deal by members of Opec+, fighting in Libya and attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman added only limited uncertainty to supply, the IEA said.
Surging U.S. supply, as well as gains from Brazil, Canada and Norway, would contribute to an increase in non-OPEC supply of 1.9 Mmbpd this year, and 2.3 Mmbpd in 2020.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.