Crude Oil Recovers After Tanker Attacks



Crude Oil Recovers After Tanker Attacks
One day after declining nearly four percent, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude oil futures recovered amid reports of tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman.

One day after declining nearly four percent, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude oil futures recovered amid reports of tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman.

The July WTI contract price added $1.14 Thursday to settle at $52.28 per barrel. It peaked at $53.45 and bottomed out at $50.92.

Brent crude for August delivery finished the day at $61.31 per barrel, reflecting a $1.34 gain.

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (CENTCOM) reported that the destroyer USS Bainbridge rendered assistance Thursday morning to two shipping vessels in the Gulf of Oman that had made distress calls after being attacked. CENTCOM identified the vessels as the M/V Front Altair and the M/V Kokuka Courageous, adding that 21 mariners from the latter vessel abandoned ship.

Speaking to the press Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the U.S. government believes that Iran conducted the attacks on the tankers. Moreover, he framed the incidents as part of a plan to disrupt the oil market. U.S.-led economic sanctions limit the sale of Iranian crude to customers worldwide.

“On April 22nd, Iran promised the world that it would interrupt the flow of oil through the Strait of Hormuz,” Pompeo stated. “It is now working to execute on that promise.”

In a tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tried to cast doubt on the suggestion that his country was behind the incidents. “Suspicious doesn’t begin to describe what likely transpired this morning,” Zarif stated.

As a Bloomberg article posted to Rigzone notes, Thursday’s attacks are the latest incidents involving oil tankers in the region. Last month, tankers in the Persian Gulf were attacked, the news service states.

“The details remain unclear at the time of writing, but the attacks fit Iran’s recent pattern of reacting to tightening U.S. sanctions,” noted Paul Sheldon, chief geopolitical adviser with S&P Global Platts Analytics.

Reformulated gasoline (RBOB) also rebounded Thursday. The July RBOB contract gained three cents to settle at $1.72 per gallon.

Henry Hub natural gas faltered for the second consecutive session, with July gas futures losing six cents to end the day at $2.325.



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