Oil prices jump on US tightening, Saudi mosque attack

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NEW YORK (AFP) –CRUDE PRICES jumped more than $2.00 Friday amid more signs of US tightening and after another deadly attack on Shiites claimed by Islamic State in the heart of Saudi Arabia s oil industry.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for July delivery rose $2.62 to $60.30 a barrel in New York trade.

In London,BRENT CRUDE for July gained $2.98 to $65.56.

The second bomb attack in a week on a Saudi Shiite mosque in the country s oil-rich Eastern Province help spark the price gains.

The attack, which killed three, took place in Dammam, just a few kilometers from both the headquarters of Aramco, the powerful Saudi state oil company, and the crucial Ras Tanura oil terminal and refinery.

US prices were supported by a fall in the Baker Hughes US rig count, suggesting the industry is still cutting back activity.

The US count fell by 13 to 646 active oil drilling rigs. A year ago, the total was 1,536.

That combined with a fall Wednesday in US stockpiles to suggest tighter supplies in the future.

“There was some expectation and some anxiety that the rig count could come out as a positive number today,” said Bob Yawger of Mizuho Securities.

“Instead it was down 13. We haven t seen a number that big in a couple of weeks,” he said.

2015-05-30

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