Tensions in Middle East hoist oil prices to largest weekly gain for months

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on September 20, 2019 - Duration: 01:07s

Tensions in Middle East hoist oil prices to largest weekly gain for months

Oil prices were on track to jump more than 7% this week, their biggest weekly rise in months, as early trading on Friday saw gains extended on fresh Middle East tensions.

David Pollard reports.

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Tensions in Middle East hoist oil prices to largest weekly gain for months

Six days on from devastating attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, and oil prices are still caught in the aftermath.

On track to jump more than seven per cent - the biggest weekly rise in half a year.

That's despite assurances from the Saudi energy minister, on Tuesday (September 17) telling the world that damage from the attacks had been contained ... And that full production was being restored.

Analysts say his time estimates for doing so may underestimate the extent of the damage, which knocked out around half of Saudi Arabia's production capacity - and spiked oil prices by as much as 20 per cent on Monday (September 16).

U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo has pinned blame on Iran for what he called "an act of war".

But tensions took another twist on Friday (September 20) when a Saudi-led coalition launched a military operation in Yemen.

Prices are also under pressure from Tropical Storm Imelda hitting energy infrastructure on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Benchmark Brent crude's November contract was bid at close to 64 dollars 80 a barrel on Friday.

West Texas Intermediate was up over half a dollar at 58-68.

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