The Financial Post reports in its Friday, May 17, edition that oil soared to a two-week high as Saudi Arabia accused Iran of ordering this week's attack on its key oil facilities, fuelling tensions between two of the world's oil-producing superpowers.
A Bloomberg dispatch to the Post reports that futures in New York advanced 1.4 per cent on Thursday. Saudi Arabia's vice-minister of defence and brother of the country's de facto ruler said on Twitter that Tuesday's drone attack was ordered by Iran.
His comments came as Saudi-led forces launched retaliatory air strikes against Houthi positions in Yemen, where the United Nations is working to end a four-year war. The escalation also follows the U.S. ordering non-emergency staff to leave neighbouring Iraq due to increasing threats in the region.
"Anyone who knows the Middle East knows that there are plenty of tripwires and the risk of escalation is always there," said Tamar Essner, director for energy at Nasdaq Corporate Solutions in New York. "With every attack that goes off, the risk and the stakes go higher."
In the physical market, Brent-linked crudes remain tight after supply outages and contamination issues roiling European refiners and traders.
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