London: World oil prices paused Wednesday, 17 October, close to record peaks, holding above $87 in New York, as traders feared more unrest in crude producer Iraq could further stretch global supplies.
New York’s main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, was unchanged at $87.61 a barrel, after striking a historic $88.20 intraday on Tuesday.
Elsewhere on Wednesday, London’s Brent North Sea crude for December delivery slipped 6 cents to $83.49. The November contract expired Tuesday after hitting an all-time high of $84.49 a barrel.
Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi has asked Turkey for time to tackle Kurd rebels based in northern Iraq, Anatolia news agency reported Wednesday.
Hashemi met Turkish leaders Tuesday on the eve of a vote in parliament expected to authorise a Turkish military incursion into northern Iraq against the rebels.
Many of Iraq’s largest oil fields are located in the north of the troubled country.
The United States has warned Turkey against unilateral action in northern Iraq which has been relatively stable while most of Iraq has been torn apart by conflict. AFP
Singapore: Oil prices eased slightly in Asia on 17 October but remained above $ 87 a barrel in a market focussed on a potential Turkish incursion into northern Iraq.
While expressing concern at the price rise, the chief of the OPEC oil cartel said the world oil market remains well supplied.
New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, was 14 cents lower in late morning trade at $ 87.47 a barrel.
In US trading yesterday, oil struck a record intra-day high of $ 88.20 before dropping back to settle above $ 87 for the first time, at $ 87.61 a barrel.
On Monday it jumped more than $2.
The price of Brent North Sea crude was not immediately available.
In London trade on 16 October , Brent for November delivery advanced $ 1.41 to settle at $ 84.16, after earlier hitting an all-time high of $ 84.49 during the session.
Oil prices surged as investors fixated on Turkey, where the parliament is expected to adopt a government motion today to allow cross-border operations against bases of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Iraq.
The White House has urged Turkey to refrain from any unilateral action that could further destabilise Iraq, while Iraq’s deputy prime minister warned of “grave consequences” for the stability of his country and the region.
Steve Rowles, an analyst with CFC Seymour in Hong Kong, said the market has not been as worried over a geopolitical issue since last July when Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas battled in Lebanon, and oil spiked to a then-record above $ 78 a barrel. PTI