Crude oil prices were down more than 1% on Wednesday as remarks from the head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) calmed the oil market over security and supply concerns.
Brent crude was trading at $67.36 per barrel at 1320 GMT on Wednesday, down 1.33% for the day after it closed Tuesday at $68.27 a barrel. The international benchmark climbed to as high as $71.28 a barrel in early trading on Wednesday for a 4.4% increase.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $61.60 a barrel at the same time, down for 1.75% for the day after ending the previous session at $62.70 per barrel. WTI hit as much as $65.65 per barrel during Wednesday's trading for a 4.7% gain.
Both benchmark's gain of more than 4% came after Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Al-Asad and Erbil in Iraq, threatening the secure supply of oil from the Middle East.
OPEC General Secretary Mohammed Barkindo announced later Wednesday that Iraq's oil facilities are secure while the country's production is ongoing without any disturbances.
He also said the organization has spare oil production capacity of 3-3.5 million barrels per day to meet any potential output disruptions.
Barkindo, however, also advised in a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump that OPEC could not take responsibility for keeping the oil market balanced.
"Our measure is oil stocks, not oil prices," he said.
The global oil market will now focus on the weekly change in the U.S.' crude oil stocks and production that will be released by Energy Information Administration later Wednesday.
By Ovunc Kutlu