Oil prices were lifted yesterday by growing concern over supply disruptions in the Middle East even as investors and traders fretted about global economic growth prospects amid a standoff in the Sino-U.S Brent crude futures were at $72.43 a barrel by 1321 GMT, up $1.81.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were up $1.49 at $63.15.
Saudi Arabia said that two Saudi oil tankers were among vessels attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, condemning it as an attempt to undermine the security of global crude supplies.
The UAE had said on Sunday that four commercial vessels were attacked near Fujairah, one of the world’s largest bunkering hubs. The port lies near the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world’s most important oil export waterways.
Iran’s foreign ministry described the incidents as “worrisome and dreadful” and called for an investigation.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the largest and third-largest producers respectively in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
“Reports on Sunday of explosions in Fujairah are likely to add further impetus to a potentially growing risk premium in the region, with initial reports suggesting oil tankers specifically were targeted in an apparent sabotage,” said Vienna-based consultancy JBC Energy.
The government of Fujairah, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, in a tweet denied media reports about blasts inside Fujairah port and said the facility was operating normally.