Brent crude was up during early trading on Wednesday as Iran's missile attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq escalated tensions in the Middle East, and threatened secure oil supply from the region.
The price of Brent crude was trading at $69 per barrel at 0630 GMT on Wednesday for a 0.8% increase after ending Tuesday at $68.46 a barrel. The international benchmark rose to as high as $71.28 per barrel earlier Wednesday, passing the milestone of $70 a barrel for the second time this week, the first of which was made on Monday.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate, on the other hand, was down 2.5% to trade at $63.26 a barrel at the same time on Wednesday after closing the previous session at $64.90 per barrel.
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Al-Asad and Erbil in Iraq, according to the Pentagon.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Tehran 'concluded proportionate measures' in response to the U.S. killing of the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, last week, adding 'We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.'
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter 'All is well! ... So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far!'
Crude oil prices could easily head towards $80 per barrel if tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to intensify in the Middle East.
The region is home to almost half of the world's proved oil reserves and accounts for one-third of global oil production.
On the inventory side, expectations of a decline in crude stocks also supported oil prices.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) figures released Tuesday estimated that crude oil inventories in the U.S. decreased by 5.95 million barrels for the week ending Jan. 3.
By Ovunc Kutlu