Concern over security around oil assets in Iraq has pushed crude prices higher as the country’s government and Kurdish forces face ongoing tension.

The price of Brent crude rose to $58.12 a barrel in trading Monday, while US West Texas Crude climbed to $52.16.

Iraq is the second largest producer in the Opec oil cartel and Iraqi officials say they have seized oil installations near the disputed city of Kirkuk, but Kurdish officials deny this.

concerns in Iraq as tensions between the country’s government Kurdish forces grow.

The Kurdistan region of Iraq has reportedly sent home civilian workers at the major Bai Hassan and Avana oil fields following a build-up of Iraqi military forces around the sites. As a result some 350,000 barrels per day of production has been shut down in the region.

The country’s oil ministry said oil and natural gas production in the region remained normal and that there was “an agreement with some Kurdish leaders that the oil and gas facilities should stay out of the conflict”.

Opinions among analysts were mixed, but Neil Wilson at ETX Capital said Brent prices might struggle to push significantly higher than $60 a barrel because clashes were “unlikely to spark wider disruption to supplies from the Middle East”.

Concerns over potential US sanctions against Iran also helped to push up oil prices after Donald Trump said on Friday he would not certify that Iran is complying with a nuclear accord agreed under the Obama administration in 2015.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here