West Texas Intermediate crude headed for the biggest weekly advance since December and Brent gained as escalating violence in Iraq threatened supplies from OPEC’s second-largest oil producer.
Futures rose as much as 1.1 percent in New York, extending a 2 percent rally yesterday, the most in two months. Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi speculated that U.S. planes may bomb his nation’s north as militants linked to al-Qaeda, who captured the city of Mosul this week, moved south toward Baghdad. The member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries produced 3.3 million barrels a day last month, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“There’s potential for disruption to spread around the Middle East and we’re talking about significant amounts of daily supply,” Michael McCarthy, a chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney who predicts Brent may climb to $125 a barrel if there’s an attack on Baghdad. “The market got concerned about potential disruption in Libya; Iraq is a much more serious situation.”