Oil prices closed in on the highest level in six months as a conflict in Iraq spilled over into one of the nation’s key crude-producing hubs.
Iraqi forces on Sunday launched a campaign to retake control of the area surrounding Kirkuk, an ethnically diverse area controlled by the semiautonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region. Government troops took control of the North Oil Company, a military base and airport, Reuters and Dow Jones reported, marking the escalation of an intensifying dispute following a Kurdish independence referendum last month.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude prices hit a session high of $52.37 a barrel on Monday, the strongest level since Sept. 28 and about 50 cents shy of posting a six-month high. They eased back and were last up 41 cents at $51.86.
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