Oil edges up for third session on Mideast tensions
Oil prices rose on Thursday for the third day in a row as fears of supply disruptions amid heightened tensions in the Middle East overshadowed swelling US crude inventories.
Brent crude futures were at $72.30 a barrel at 0839 GMT, up 53 cents from their last close. Brent is heading for its biggest weekly rise in six weeks.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $62.49 per barrel, up 47 cents from their previous settlement.
"Brent looks poised to breach the upper bound of its recent $70-$73 a barrel price range as bullish headlines from the (Mideast) Gulf continue worrying investors," Citi said in a note.
US crude oil inventories rising to their highest since 2017 helped cap prices, but government data pointed to a lower boost to stocks than previously released industry data and falling gasoline stocks also mitigated the bearish sentiment from the data.
Also keeping prices in check is uncertainty about whether OPEC and other producers will maintain into the second half of the year supply cuts that have boosted prices more than 30 percent in 2019.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Tuesday that world demand for its oil would be higher than expected this year.
The so-called OPEC+ group of producers, which includes Russia, meets next month to review whether to maintain the pact beyond June.