Global oil prices skyrocketed by $3 Friday in the aftermath of the US’s assassination of Iranian commander, Qasem Soleimani.
There are growing tensions that the development may trigger further escalation in oil prices in the days ahead given Iraq’s threat that “severe revenge awaits the criminals” behind the strike.
Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, peaked at $69.16 (the highest since 17th September 2019) few hours after the killing was announced before it stabilised at $68.81 per barrel about 20:30 West Africa Time.
The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose by $2.03 to $63.21 per barrel, having earlier hit $63.84, its highest since 1st May 2019.
Henry Rome, a Eurasia Iran analyst stated that “We expect moderate to low level clashes to last for at least a month and likely be confined to Iraq.
“Iran will also likely resume harassment of commercial shipping in the Gulf and may launch military exercises to temporarily disrupt shipping.”
The US embassy in Baghdad on Friday enjoined American citizens to leave Iraq immediately as a result of the growing tensions.
Oil and gas research firm, JBC Energy said “With further escalation remaining a distinct possibility, we could see markets retain at least some risk premium.”