NEW YORK (Bloomberg) — West Texas Intermediate rose to an eight-month high and Brent surged as violence escalated across northern and central Iraq, increasing the prospect of a return to civil war in OPEC’s second-biggest oil producer.
WTI advanced as much as 2% while Brent gained 2.2%. Militants linked to al-Qaeda extended control over Iraq’s second-biggest city and moved south toward Baghdad. U.S. planes may bomb northern Iraq, Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said today, June 12, in Vienna. Iraqi crude production rose 50,000 bpd to 3.3 million last month, Bloomberg data show.
WTI for July delivery climbed $1.63, or 1.6%, to $106.03 a barrel at 10:33 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched $106.53, the highest intraday level since Sept. 19. The volume of all futures traded was more than double the 100-day average. Prices are up 7.7% this year.
Brent for July settlement rose $2.05, or 1.9%, to $112 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract reached $112.34, the highest since March 3. Volumes were almost triple the 100-day average. Brent traded at a $5.97 premium to WTI, up from $5.55 at yesterday’s close.