- Brent, WTI crude trading near 2015 highs.
- Brent crude on pace for third consecutive weekly gain on concerns of oil security in the Middle East.
- Oil speculators increasing net long positions for Brent crude.
Brent crude prices rose on Friday and are pacing for a third consecutive week of gains, as Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen continued to raise concerns about a possible supply disruption for a key global delivery gateway.
Brent crude for June delivery climbed 0.4 percent to $65.09 a barrel, having previously reached a new 2015 high of $65.77. The price of the global benchmark is well on its way to its third consecutive weekly gain, setting up a potential oil price breakthrough in the coming months.
Meanwhile, US crude was trading lower on Friday morning, but was still near 2015 highs. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for June delivery was down 1.7 percent to $56.78 a barrel. WTI had previously traded at $57.94 on Friday.
Saudi Arabian warplanes pounded rebel territory in Yemen on Thursday just two days after Riyadh announced it was putting an end to its month-long campaign. Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who are predominantly members of the country’s large Zaidi Shi’a community, have vowed to retaliate against Saudi Arabia.
Yemen is considered to be a crucial delivery point for global crude, as the country’s southern coast controls access to the Red Sea and Suez Canal.
Rising oil prices raise hopes for price stability in the latter half of the year. Oil traders increased their net long positions for Brent crude to around 263,578 contracts in the week ended April 14, according to CNBC. That was the highest level since record keeping began, according to Reuters.