Oil inched higher in Asian trade on Thursday after days of turbulence, with markets soothed by Saudi Arabia’s pledge to restore full manufacturing by September end at oil refineries knocked out in drone and missile attacks last weekend.
International benchmark Brent crude futures rose 24 cents to $63.84 per barrel by 0634 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 21 cents to $58.32 per barrel.
The steadying of nerves came after Saudi Arabia set out the timeline to resume full work, and also said it had managed to restore supplies to clients at levels before the attacks by drawing from its oil stockpiles.
Brent prices had risen 14.6% on Monday, the contract’s biggest one-day percentage gain since at least 1988.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s major oil exporter, has said the crippling attack on its oil refineries was “unquestionably sponsored” by hostile regional rival Iran.
U.S. President Donald Trump stated there were many options short of battle with Iran and added that he had asked the U.S. Treasury to “substantially increase penalties” on Tehran. Iran has dismissed involvement in the strikes.
The chief of the International Energy Agency stated Wednesday it doesn’t see a need to release emergency oil shares as markets are well supplied.
While pressures in the Middle East remained elevated, the White House’s reply on Wednesday to Saudi producing evidence that it said implicated Iran in the attacks pointed to a more measured strategy in handling the area’s problems, said McCarthy at CMC Markets.
Following the attacks in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait’s oil sector is on high alert and has advanced its security to the highest degree as a precautionary step, a Kuwaiti oil executive stated Wednesday.