SINGAPORE: Oil prices rose in Asia Monday as dealers monitor sustained US air strikes on extremist militants in Iraq who are threatening the crude-rich Kurdish region, analysts said.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September deliver rose 32 cents to $97.97 while Brent crude for September gained 23 cents to $105.25 in mid-morning trade.
Iraq’s Kurdish peshmerga on Sunday reclaimed two towns from Islamic State fighters, buoyed by three days of US air strikes to stem the jihadist advance.
United States president Barack Obama on Thursday ordered his country’s warplanes back into Iraqi skies to prevent genocide by the against besieged religious minority groups and prevent an advance on the Kurdish capital Arbil where US personnel are stationed.
“Investors take comfort in the knowledge that insurgents will be contained in northern Iraq, away from the oil fields in Kurdistan,” said Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore.
The so-called Islamic State group control large swathes of Iraq’s north and west, and have declared a “caliphate” in those areas.The sweeping offensive began on June 9, preventing Baghdad from exporting oil via a pipeline to Turkey and by road to Jordan.