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Oil Tanks On Worst Day In Six Months

Oil prices plummeted on Thursday,…

Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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Oil Markets Tremble On Iran, Israel Flare-Up

Brent crude briefly jumped above US$77 a barrel today after a flare-up of tensions in the Middle East and an exchange of strikes between Iranian forces in Syria and the Israeli army. According to Israeli sources, Iranians attacked Israeli positions in the Golan Heights with rockets, which prompted an immediate reaction.

The Israeli forces carried out a string of air strikes against “dozens” of Iranian targets in Syria following the rocket attack, itself a retaliation for Israeli strikes against Iranian positions in Syria last month, in which seven Iranian Revolutionary guards were killed.

As a result of this sudden spike in aggression, oil prices, already rattled more than enough by President Trump’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly called the Iran nuclear deal, continued their climb upwards, as the danger of a direct war between Israel and Iran, which PM Benjamin Netanyahu recently suggested might happen sooner rather than later, increased.

In early morning trading, West Texas Intermediate was changing hands for US$71.66 a barrel, with Brent trading at US$77.72. But even fears of oil shortages caused by Iranian sanctions could not keep prices high.

By 10:20am EST, both the WTI and Brent benchmarks began to slide, trading down on the day. WTI was trading at $70.82, with Brent at $76.75. Related: Goldman: Oil Prices To Hit $82.50 By The Summer

This full effect of the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal is unlikely to be felt for another six months—this is the deadline for companies operating in Iran to wind down their business there. At the same time, events in Syria, Israel, and Iran will continue to be watched closely for any suggestions about where the region is going.

Interestingly enough, Israel is staying cozy with Iran’s biggest backer in the Middle East, Russia. The Israeli PM was a guest of President Vladimir Putin at the Victory Day parade in Moscow on May 9. This might signal that there is still space for reducing the tension between Tel-Aviv and Tehran.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • John Brown on May 10 2018 said:
    Iran has no business having troops in Syria. It should get out, and it should take the tens of thousands of missiles it has given the Islamic Terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah with it. Iran's has openly declared its intent to destroy Israel and commit genocide. It is an outlaw nation that is in a De Facto State of war with the nation it says it will destroy. Israel should not just retaliate against Iranian forces in Syria when Iran attacks it. If it is attacked it should retaliate directly against Iran. I supposed in this case since they attacked the Golan Heights and not Israel proper retaliation in Syria makes sense, but if Iran decides to attack Israel proper than the only proper retaliation will be again Iran proper. Iran is courting disaster!
  • Masked Avenger on May 10 2018 said:
    Translated....oil Barrons giggle with glee at the possibility of raping the consumer once again. The more the trouble, the bigger woodies they sport. Economic chaos brought to you from big oil.
  • Brown is correct on May 16 2018 said:
    If Iran is stupid enough to play with Isreal, they will get burnt. See eg the Isreali air stikes knocking out this Iranian bases in Syria. And the Russians did zilch to stop them.

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