Crude oil prices rose sharply on Friday as tensions in the Middle East escalated with Israeli ground forces expanding operations in Gaza.
With the war intensifying, it is feared tensions could spread into a wider conflict and disrupt global crude supplies.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended higher by $2.33 or about 2.8% at $85.54 a barrel. WTI crude futures posted a weekly loss of about 3.6%.
Brent crude futures settled at $90.48 a barrel today, gaining $2.55 or about 2.9%. Brent crude futures shed about 2% in the week.
Oil prices surged after US airstrikes targeted Iranian targets in Syria. “Middle East tensions are not going away anytime soon and that could eventually lead to some crude export disruptions from Iran,” says Edward Moya, Senior Market Analyst at OANDA.
The attack by the U.S. was in response to a flurry of recent rocket and drone assaults against American soldiers in Iraq and Syria.
Meanwhile, a report from Baker Hughes said the oil rig count saw its first monthly increase since November 2022, after drillers added rigs for a third week in a row.
The oil and gas rig count rose one to 625 in the week to October 27. The U.S. oil rigs rose by two to 504 this week, while gas rigs by fell by one to 117.