Oil prices were looking for direction on Tuesday as investors are concerned about geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.

North Sea Brent crude for April delivery was worth $64.89 on the London Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) at 11am GMT, down 78 cents from Monday’s close. In the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) electronic trading, a barrel of light sweet crude (WTI) for the March contract, he last day of trading, was 21 cents to 61.89 dollars.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened the “tyrants of Tehran” with retaliation in case of aggression, a week after an open confrontation in Syria. Analysts fear an escalation that could disrupt supply in a volatile oil producing region.

Besides, investors opted for caution ahead of official weekly data on the level of US oil reserves, which will be released on Thursday.

Prices had risen to three-year highs in January, encouraged by the successful implementation of the agreement signed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers such as Russia to limit their production to the end of 2018. But investors are worried that US oil will negate the cartel’s efforts to rebalance the market.


Ahmed Naser is a UK-based journalist with a deep understanding of the Middle East. Ahmed is a contributor to a wide range of regional publications in the Middle East. He works across print and digital media as a freelance editor and writer.

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