Oil reaches a peak of 6 weeks with the preparedness of platforms for a storm in the Gulf of Mexico
Oil futures hit their highest level in six weeks on Thursday, as oil platforms were cleared in the Gulf of Mexico before a storm, while an incident against a British tanker in the Middle East highlighted tensions in the region.
By 0643 GMT, Brent crude futures had offset losses earlier and rose 36 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $ 67.37 a barrel. Earlier in the session, Brent crude hit its highest level since May 30 at $ 67.39 a barrel after closing up 4.4 percent on Wednesday.
WTI crude futures rose 32 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $ 60.75 a barrel after touching earlier highs since May 23 at $ 60.83 a barrel. West Texas crude contracts rose 4.5 percent in the previous session.
A US defense official said on Thursday five boats believed to belong to Iran's Revolutionary Guards approached a British oil tanker in the Gulf on Wednesday and asked them to stop in nearby Iranian waters, but withdrew after warning from a British warship.
Tensions are brewing in the Middle East after attacks on tankers and Iran's downing of a US aircraft last month, following US President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal from a multilateral deal with Tehran to end its nuclear program.
US oil producers shut down about a third of oil production in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday before it could be one of the first major storms of the Atlantic hurricane season.
Oil prices are also supported by a decline in US stocks. Crude oil inventories fell 9.5 million barrels in the week ending July 5, more than three times the 3.1 million barrels forecast by analysts as refinery refineries intensified, the Energy Information Administration said.