Oil prices on rise with ongoing Middle East tension

ANKARA 

Crude oil prices opened with gains on Thursday, as the attack on two Saudi oil-pumping stations and tankers continues to raise concerns of possible supply disruptions in the region.

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $72.43 per barrel at 0618 GMT with a 0.37% gain after it closed Wednesday at $72.16 a barrel.

American benchmark West Texas International was trading at $62.42 a barrel at the same time.

A drone attacked two oil-pumping stations in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, provoking concerns over secure crude supply from the region. Attacks on the Kingdom’s two oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday also added to the uncertainty over supply.

The two oil stations are strategic for the transfer of oil through the 1,200 kilometer-long East-West pipeline, which pumps crude from east to west, and is one of the two alternative major pipelines used to export crude from the Red Sea instead of the Strait of Hormuz.

Meanwhile, the Energy Information Administration’s (IEA) report of an unexpected 5.4 million barrel increase in crude oil stocks for the week ended on May 10, failed to lower oil prices.

Total crude stocks in the U.S. reached 472 million barrels, the IEA said.

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