Oil prices increased on Tuesday as unrest in Iraq and Ecuador raised supply concerns, but worries about US-China trade negotiations capped the market’s gains after President Donald Trump said a quick deal was unlikely.
Brent crude rose 43 cents, or 0.7%, to $58.78 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $53.12, up 37 cents, or 0.7%, CNBC reported.
Protests in OPEC members Iraq and Ecuador threatened to disrupt their oil output. The death toll in Iraq, the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, has climbed after a week of unrest.
“Unrest in Iraq gained a high profile at the start of October as a result of large protests in Baghdad,” RBC analyst Al Stanton said.
He said potential attacks by Turkey on Kurdish forces in northeast Syria could take place close to the Iraqi border, leading to “a refugee crisis that puts pressures on Kurdistan’s economy” and its oil production.
Turkey said it had completed preparations for a military operation in northeast Syria after the United States began pulling back troops.
Meanwhile, the energy ministry in Ecuador, one of OPEC’s smallest producers which is quitting the group next year, said protests against austerity could reduce its oil output by 59,450 barrels per day.
Ecuador’s state-run oil company Petroamazonas EP suspended operations at three oilfields in the Amazon region on Monday.