Brent Oil Surges to $58 After Saudi Air Strikes in Yemen

Brent crude oil prices rose by more than a dollar in early Asian trading on Thursday after Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies began a military operation in Yemen, although Asian importers said they were not immediately worried about supply disruptions.  The strike against Houthi rebels who have driven the president from the country’s capital could stoke concerns about the security of oil shipments from the Middle East.

Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 rose to 57.95 a barrel at 0215, up almost $1.50 since their last settlement. U.S. crude CLc1 was up $1.20 at $50.41 a barrel.  Despite the price rise, importers of Middle East oil were not immediately concerned about disruptions.

“Yemen is not a big supplier of oil… This could help move oil prices partly, but we don’t see this will disrupt actual oil supply,” said Kim Woo-kyung, a spokeswoman at SK Innovation (096770.KS), a parent company of South Korea’s largest refiner SK Energy.  South Korean officials also said the current troubles occurred near the Red Sea, waters that Gulf suppliers to Asia do not have to pass.


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