International oil prices surged nearly 6% as the Middle East crisis escalated. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures jumped 5.80% from the previous trading day to $87.72 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on the 13th (local time).
As a result, WTI jumped 4% this week alone. This is the biggest weekly gain since Sept. 1. In particular, the rate of increase on this day is the largest since April 3.
◇ Brent Crude: North Sea Brent crude futures, a benchmark for international oil prices, also jumped 5.70% to close at $90.90 a barrel. It is the first time since the 2nd that Brent crude has surpassed $90 again.
This is because the Middle East crisis is escalating further. The Israeli military has begun to send ground troops to Gaza ahead of its entry, notifying residents in northern Gaza to move south.
Israeli forces raided Gaza in the past 24 hours to preemptively remove terrorists and weapons ahead of a full ground deployment, an Israeli military spokesman said.
This is interpreted as a measure to remove obstacles expected ahead of the full deployment of ground forces.
Under these circumstances, the E-Palestinian conflict is likely to spread throughout the Middle East as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, a terrorist organization stronger than the Palestinian militant group Hamas that led the Israeli attack, said it could “go to war at the right time.”
◇ Iran’s participation in the war will inevitably lead to soaring oil prices: If Iran intervenes in the war under such circumstances, it could block the Iranian-controlled Strait of Hamas to hurt the West, which supports Israel.
The Strait of Hamas is a key route for crude oil supply, with 17 million to 18 million barrels of crude oil moving daily. If the Strait of Hamas is blocked, international oil prices will soar by $20 to $30 a barrel, experts say.