Oil Jumps To Seven-Year High Above $85 A Barrel

Rising tensions in the Middle East have pushed the price of crude oil to a seven-year high above $85 U.S. a barrel.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has vowed to retaliate against Houthi militants for a deadly attack on its capital Abu Dhabi that killed three people, as fresh tensions in the region helped to push oil prices to their highest level in years.

International benchmark Brent crude oil futures rose 1.6% to $87.89 U.S. a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures jumped more than 2% to hit $85.56 U.S. during early morning trading.

Both oil contracts are at their highest level since October 2014.

Energy analysts have attributed oil’s bullish run over recent weeks to signs of tightness in the market and persistent worries of a Russian incursion into the Ukraine. The threat of a further deterioration in the Middle East’s security climate has provided further support to oil prices.

Attacks by Houthi rebels, who have been at war with Yemen since a Saudi-led coalition began bombing the country in 2015, have been common in Saudi Arabia, but this is the most significant strike by Houthis in the UAE, and is the first in the country since 2018.

The UAE largely withdrew from the Yemen conflict in 2019 but continues to support forces in the country fighting the Houthis, who receive financial and military backing from Iran.

The UAE is the world’s seventh biggest oil producer, producing four million barrels per day.