Increased tensions in the Middle East have fuelled oil prices this week. On 16 May, crude oil prices increased more than 1% as a Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes in retaliation for recent attacks on its crude infrastructure.

Brent crude futures settled at $72.62 a barrel, up 85 cents, or 1.18%, after touching their highest level in three weeks, Reuters reported, adding that US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled at $62.87 a barrel, gaining 81 cents, or 1.37%, after hitting its strongest level in two weeks.

On 14 May, Saudi Arabia reported armed drones attacked two pumping stations in the kingdom. A day earlier, Riyadh said two of its oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the UAE.

The US has reportedly warned shipping companies that Iran or countries or groups Tehran is backing could be targeting maritime traffic in the Gulf and said it deployed an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers in the area for support, Time reported.


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