Brent crude futures surged above $70 a barrel on Monday for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began following attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.
U.S. crude also touched its highest in more than two years.
Brent crude futures for May hit $71.38 a barrel in early Asian trade, the highest since Jan. 8, 2020, and were at $71.11 a barrel by 0255 GMT, up $1.75, or 2.5%.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for April rose $1.60, or 2.4%, to $67.69. The front-month WTI price touched $67.98 a barrel earlier, the highest since October 2018.
Asian stocks also rose after the U.S. Senate approved a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill while positive economic data from the United States and China bode well for a global economic rebound.
On Sunday, Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed that they hit an Aramco oil facility in eastern Saudi Arabia; the first time the group has reached the company’s facilities in that area.
In a televised statement, a spokesman for the rebel group, Brig. Gen. Yahya Sarea, said ballistic missiles and drones hit the oil giant’s facilities in Ras Tanura, a major port on Saudi Arabia’s Persian Gulf coast and one of its largest refineries, and military positions in nearby Dammam.
Saudi state media later confirmed the Ras Tanura attack, quoting an unnamed Energy Ministry official saying that one petroleum tank farm was attacked Sunday morning. The official said shrapnel from a ballistic missile fell near Aramco’s residential area in Dhahran, which hosts thousands of employees and their families, but there were no casualties or loss of property.
ING analysts said in a report, noting that this was the second attack this month following an incident in Jeddah on March 4:
We could see further upside in the market in the near-term, particularly as the market probably now needs to be pricing in some sort of risk premium, with these attacks picking up in frequency.
Brent and WTI prices are up for the fourth consecutive session after OPEC and its allies decided to keep production cuts largely unchanged in April.