NEW YORK: Oil prices rose slightly on Friday as a spill at Iraq’s Basra terminal appeared likely to constrain crude supply, but remained down on the week on fears that hefty interest rate increases will curb global economic growth and demand for fuel.
Brent crude futures settled at $91.35 a barrel, up 51 cents, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled at $85.11 a barrel, up 1 cent.
Both benchmarks were down by nearly 2% on the week, hurt partly by the US dollar’s strong run, which makes oil more expensive for buyers using other currencies. The dollar index was largely flat on the day but up for its fourth week in five weeks. In the third quarter so far, both Brent and WTI are down about 20% for the biggest quarterly percentage declines since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Oil exports from Iraq’s Basra oil terminal are being gradually resumed after they were halted last night due to a spillage, which has been contained, Basra Oil Company said. The spill at the port, which has four loading platforms and can export up to 1.8 mln barrels per day, drove up prices on the prospect of lower global crude supply.
“That definitely threw a scare into the market because the initial report was that those barrels were going to be out of the market for some time,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.