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Brent On The Rise With Iraq's Largest Refinery At Risk

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Brent On The Rise With Iraq's Largest Refinery At Risk

Geopolitical tension drove Brent crude oil higher on Thursday as investors worried about supply interruptions in the Middle East.

The commodity traded at $110.61 at 7:30 GMT following reports that rebels in Iraq were moving in on the nation’s largest oil refinery.

Earlier this week, a group connected to Al-Qaeda took control of Mosul, the nation’s second largest city, prompting the Iraqi government to declare a state of emergency.

CNBC reported that the group, called the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), is extending its stronghold to the north where Iraq’s Baiji refinery is situated. On Wednesday, Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said that the nation’s southern export facilities are out of harm’s way.

However, many see Brent climbing to $111 over the next few days if Baiji, which processes about 300,000 barrels per day, is overrun.

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Also supporting oil prices was data from the US which showed that the nation’s crude inventories had fallen by 2.6 million barrels per day last week. The figure beat analysts’ expectations of a 1.9 million barrel drop and confirmed that the world’s number one oil consumer’s driving season was off to a strong start.

Moving forward investors will continue to watch for key economic data from both the US and China for a better picture of their economies and in turn, their crude appetite.

The US is set to release retail sales data later on Thursday and China is set to put out industrial production reports as well as retail sales data on Friday.

Posted-In: Abdul Kareem Luaibi Al-QaedaNews Commodities Forex Global Pre-Market Outlook Markets Best of Benzinga

 

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