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Oil Prices On Track For Second Weekly Gain Amid Middle East Tensions

Oil prices were up over 1 percent on Friday and were on track for a second weekly gain after the U.S. announced plans to replenish its strategic petroleum reserves.

Investors also fear that a wider conflict in the Middle east could disrupt supplies of some oil, since neighboring Iran and Saudi Arabia are major global producers.

Benchmark Brent crude futures rallied 1.2 percent to $93.50 a barrel, while WTI crude futures were up 1.3 percent at $89.55.

The U.S. Department of Energy indicated that it would buy 6 million barrels of crude oil, to be delivered between December this year and January 2024.

The last time the Biden administration announced purchase intentions for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was in July.

Meanwhile, hopes of a de-escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict following President Biden’s visit to the Middle East are fading.

The U.S. State Department issued a worldwide caution alert citing the “potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests.”

On the 14th day of the Israel-Hamas conflict, Israel’s defense minister has asked the country’s military to prepare for potential entry into the Gaza Strip with the aim of dismantling the Palestinian militant group.

U.S. President Joe Biden said that he can’t let terrorists like ‘Hamas’ and tyrants like ‘Putin’ win. The United States has vetoed a UN-led ceasefire in the Middle East war.

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