Oil edges higher as EU members weigh Russian ban, Houthis target Saudi

A worker looks at a pump jack at an oil field Buzovyazovskoye owned by Bashneft company north from Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia, July 11, 2015. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices extended gains on Tuesday as some European Union members discussed a potential oil embargo on Russia and Yemen’s Iran-Houthi attacked Saudi energy.

Brent crude futures gained $1.9 to $117.5 a barrel at 0745 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was up $1.49 at $113.6 per barrel.

Both contracts had settled up more than 7% on Monday as the potential for more supply disruptions weighed on the market.

EU foreign ministers are split on whether to join the United States in sanctioning Russian oil, with some countries including Germany arguing that the bloc is too dependent on Russia’s fossil fuels, according to Reuters.

“It seems energy traders are growing more confident that supply shortages are just around the corner,” Reuters quoted Edward Moya, analyst at OANDA, as saying.

Prices are rallying in response to geopolitical concerns both in Ukraine and over attacks at Saudi Aramco sites, Moya added.

“Right now it seems the risks are growing and that could push crude prices higher.”

Saudi Arabia has warned it would not bear responsibility for disruptions to global supply following escalating attacks on its facilities by Yemen’s Houthi movement.

The comments came after the group fired missiles and drones at facilities of the Saudi state oil firm over the weekend, causing a temporary drop in refinery output.

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