The price of Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, has reached a new high by surpassing $65 per barrel, the highest level since mid-2015.
According to media reports, the January Brent futures for North Sea crude oil, the benchmark for the global oil price, traded at $65.24 per barrel, rising by 0.52 percent in Tuesday trading in global equity markets.
Reports blamed an announcement over the shutdown of a North Sea pipeline – which reportedly knocked out significant supply from the market – for the jump in the price of oil.
Britain’s Forties pipeline was shut due to cracks as a cold snap sweeps the country, Reuters reported.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $58.38 a barrel, up 39 cents, or 0.7 percent, from their last settlement.
The jump in Brent prices widened its premium to WTI prices to as much as over $7 a barrel, the highest premium since May 2015 and up from around $5 last week. This, as experts said, made US oil exports more attractive.
Brent crude first jumped to $64.27 on November 6 after a number of former and current Saudi officials, including 11 princes and four incumbent ministers, were detained by the authorities as part of an anti-corruption operation launched by the government, resulting in an increase of oil prices to their highest levels in over two years.
Experts predicted that if the uncertainty in Saudi Arabia further escalated, oil prices could rise toward $70 per barrel, but by November 8 Brent Crude had already fallen to $63.97, Reuters added.