- Reports of two oil tankers being attacked in the strategic Gulf of Oman sent world oil prices spike higher Thursday morning.
- A third of all oil traded by sea passes through the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf near the Gulf of Oman.
- Experts do not expect the jump in oil prices to lead to higher gas costs in the U.S.
Global oil prices surged on Thursday following suspected attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, leaving one with a damaged hull and the other on fire and adrift.
U.S. crude rose 4% to $53.22 per barrel after closing lower the previous day on concerns over rising stockpiles and a spiraling trade dispute between the U.S. and China. Prices of Brent crude oil, the international standard, jumped 4% to over $62 a barrel on the news. A third of all oil traded by sea passes through the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf near the Gulf of Oman.
“The knee-jerk reaction is more a response to the risks associated with higher tensions in the region and prospect of more attacks, than immediate impact on oil supplies,” Craig Erlam of OANDA said in a market commentary.
No oil prices spike in gas costs
Experts don’t expect the jump in oil prices to boost U.S. gas costs. Prices at the pump “will not immediately skyrocket because of the attacks on two oil tankers,” tweeted Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at research firm Gas Buddy.
Oil tank operators DHT Holdings and Heidmar have temporarily halted new jobs in the Gulf following the incidents, according to Reuters.
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