Novak: Oil Prices Movements Difficult to Predict amid Middle East Crisis

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said it was difficult to predict future fluctuations in the global oil market amid the escalation of tensions in the Middle East, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday.

The minister, visiting Istanbul, said the OPEC+ group of oil producers always has an ability to meet, when asked if an unscheduled meeting was planned because of the Middle East tensions.

Novak also said that the countries which signed the OPEC agreement on production cuts always have the opportunity to gather, if necessary, and discuss the situation in the oil market.

On Wednesday night, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced the start of a retaliation operation for the U.S. action to assassinate General Kassem Suleimani, a senior Iranian military commander. Land-to-ground missiles were fired from Iran at the Ein al-Assad base in western Iraq and the base in Erbil, where the U.S. military contingent is located.

Iranian Press TV claims to have killed 80 people. However, U.S. President Donald Trump after the attack said that “everything is in order.” Fox News reported with reference to sources that, according to preliminary information, there are no Americans among the victims.

The event led to a jump in oil prices, with the global Brent benchmark trading around $68 per barrel.

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