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Oil Prices Surge on Fears of an Imminent Iranian Attack

Oil prices spiked on Friday morning following reports of heightened tensions between Iran and Israel, with the possibility of an Iranian attack on Israeli soil looming within the next 24 to 48 hours.

The Wall Street Journal, citing American intelligence reports, revealed this development, sending shockwaves through global oil markets.

Both the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude oil prices experienced significant jumps, with WTI rising by $2.02 and Brent climbing by $1.78 per barrel by 9:20 a.m. ET. This sharp increase underscores the sensitivity of oil markets to geopolitical turmoil in the Middle East, a region critical to global oil supply.

The catalyst behind the surge in tensions is the aftermath of an airstrike on April 1, targeting an Iranian consulate building in Damascus, Syria. The strike, reportedly carried out by Israel, resulted in the deaths of several high-ranking Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders, including two generals. Iran views this attack as a direct provocation and is allegedly considering retaliatory measures against Israeli targets.

Israel, already on high alert due to multiple threats and intelligence assessments pointing to an imminent Iranian strike, now finds itself bracing for potential reprisals. The specter of conflict between these two regional adversaries has escalated concerns about stability in the Middle East and its implications for global energy markets.

Markets were already jittery this week, awaiting some retaliatory attack by Iran following the previous Israeli strike on Tehran's embassy in Syria. While Tehran initially showed signs that it was eager to find a way to gracefully back down, fearing what is sure to be severe international blowback, today's intelligence seems to suggest that Iran is keeping retaliation on the table.

Both WTI and Brent benchmarks were trading up roughly 2% on the day, with Brent reaching $91.56 and WTI reaching $87.05-the highest crude price the market has seen in nearly 7 months.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group. More