London : Global oil prices hit 2015 peaks on Wednesday as fresh tensions in oil producer Libya raised concerns about a supply disruption in the Middle East, analysts said.
The market was meanwhile awaiting the latest snapshot of oil inventories in the United States, which is the world’s top crude consuming nation. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in June rallied to a five-month pinnacle at USD 62.08 per barrel.
Crude oil prices briefly touched $62-a-bbl, a level not seen since December, as Saudi Arabia raised its official selling prices to North America and Europe. Brent North Sea crude for June jumped to a similar high at USD 69.15, before pulling back to USD 68.92, up USD 1.40.
“Geopolitical concerns in the Middle East continue to form a firm base for oil prices, be it Libya, Yemen or Iraq,” CMC Markets analyst Nicholas Teo told AFP.
Media reports said protests in Libya had shut oil deliveries to a port in the east of the country.
Oil prices have in recent weeks also gained some support due to ongoing strife in Yemen, whose coast forms one side of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait through which some 4.7 million barrels pass each day. -AFP