* Benchmarks jump to highest since October 2014
* Middle East, Russia tensions add to supply concerns
* Some OPEC+ sources say $100/bbl oil is possible
* Goldman expects crude inventories to drop to lowest since
NEW YORK, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Oil prices on Tuesday climbed
to their highest since 2014 as investors worried about global
political tensions involving major producers such as the United
Arab Emirates and Russia that could exacerbate the already tight
The risk added a premium to prices during the session. Brent
crude futures rose $1.03, or 1.2%, to settle at $87.51 a
barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures
ended $1.61, or 1.9%, higher at $85.43 a barrel.
Both benchmarks touched their highest since October 2014,
and some OPEC sources https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/inside-opec-views-are-growing-that-oils-rally-could-be-prolonged-2022-01-18
say $100-per-barrel oil is not out of reach.
Supply concerns mounted this week after Yemen's Houthi group
attacked the United Arab Emirates, escalating hostilities
between the Iran-aligned group and a Saudi Arabian-led
After launching drone and missile strikes that set off
explosions in fuel trucks and killed three people, the Houthi
movement warned it could target more facilities, while the UAE
said it reserved the right to "respond to these terrorist
The strike on a leading Gulf Arab ally of the United States
takes the war between the Houthi group and a Saudi-led coalition
to a new level, and may hinder efforts to contain regional
tensions as Washington and Tehran work to rescue a nuclear deal.
"The damage to the UAE oil facilities in Abu Dhabi is not
significant in itself, but it raises the question of even more
supply disruptions in the region in 2022," said Rystad Energy's
senior oil markets analyst Louise Dickson.
"The attack raises the geopolitical risk in the region and
may signal the Iran-U.S. nuclear deal is off the table for the
foreseeable future, meaning Iranian oil barrels are off the
market, boosting demand for similar grade crude originating
elsewhere," Dickson added.
UAE oil company ADNOC said it had activated business
continuity plans to ensure uninterrupted supply of products to
its local and international customers after an incident at its
Mussafah fuel depot.
Separately, a senior U.S. State Department official said
Russian troops deployed to Belarus for what Moscow and Minsk say
will be joint military exercises is raising concerns that they
"potentially" could be used to attack neighboring Ukraine.
Russia has built up a large troop presence near Ukraine's
border, stoking fears of invasion. U.S. and German officials
have discussed ways to deter Russia, which could include halting
the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to central Europe.
At the same time, producers within the Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries are struggling to pump at their
allowed capacities under the OPEC+ agreement with Russia and
allies to add 400,000 barrels per day each month.
OPEC on Tuesday stuck to its forecast for robust growth in
world oil demand in 2022 despite the Omicron coronavirus variant
and expected interest rate hikes.
Goldman Sachs analysts said they expect oil inventories in
OECD countries to fall to their lowest since 2000 by the summer,
with Brent oil prices rising to $100 later this year.
(Additional reporting by Rowena Edwards and Noah Browning in
London, Sonali Paul in Melbourne and Roslan Khasawneh in
Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Gregorio)