New Telegraph

Oil prices rise over 2% on Mideast crisis and Libya outage

Oil prices rose over 2% yesterday as the Middle East crisis and a Libyan supply outage pared the previous day’s heavy losses. According to Reuters, Brent futures rose $1.90, or 2.5%, to trade at $78.02 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) rose $1.91, or 2.7%, to trade at $72.68. Both benchmarks were up more than $2 at their session highs. It reported that prices were supported by the closure of Libya’s 300,000 barrels per day Sharara oilfield, one of Libya’s largest, which has been a frequent target for local and broader political protests, and Middle East tensions The Israeli military has said its fight against Hamas will continue through 2024, stoking concerns the conflict could escalate into a regional crisis that disrupts oil supplies.

Meanwhile, some major shipping companies are still avoiding the Red Sea after attacks by Iran-aligned Houthi militants in response to Israel’s war against Hamas. Director of Energy Futures at Mizuho, Bob Yawger, said: “The more attractive alternative for (oil tankers) right now is to make a dash for the United States, where crude oil is cheaper than Brent Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd (HLAG.DE) will continue to divert vessels around the Cape of Good Hope, it said yesterday. Saudi Arabia, however, emphasised its desire to support efforts aimed at stabilising oil markets.

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