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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery shot up $8.05 to $62.90 on the New York Merc, while Brent for November added $8.80 to $69.02 (all figures in this para U.S.). Both benchmarks reached their highest levels in four months, fuelled by fear over global supplies after two massive attacks on Saudi oil facilities on Saturday (discussed further below). In terms of intraday trading, Brent at one point posted its biggest percentage gain since the 1990-1991 Gulf War. Here in Canada, Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $13.75 to WTI, down from a discount of $13.15. Natural gas for October added seven cents to $2.68. The TSX energy index added 12.52 points to close at 147.81.
Energy headlines continued to be dominated by the weekend's brazen drone attacks on two key oil sites at the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry. The attacks shut down about 5.7 million barrels a day of crude, representing roughly half of the country's oil production or around 5 per cent of the world's total supply. Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attack, but U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ruled out Yemeni involvement and blamed the attacks on Iran. Tehran is denying any responsibility. U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States (which is already at odds with Iran over its nuclear program) is "locked and loaded" to retaliate. Mr. Trump added that he has authorized the release of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve, if necessary.
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