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Oil Prices Rise After Iran's President Dies in Helicopter Crash

Crude oil prices began the week with a gain following the news that a helicopter with Iran’s president on board had crashed and both he and the country’s foreign minister died.

According to a Reuters report from earlier in the day, Ebrahim Raisi and Hossein Amirabdollahian were on board a helicopter traveling across mountainous terrain in heavy fog, returning from the border with Azerbaijan where the officials attended the opening of a joint Azeri-Iranian hydropower project.

A later report said rescue teams had reached the site of the crash and had confirmed the officials on board were dead.

“President Raisi, the foreign minister and all the passengers in the helicopter were killed in the crash,” an unnamed Iranian government official told Reuters.

Brent crude climbed above $84 per barrel following the news and West Texas Intermediate hit $80, with both likely to make more gains by the end of the day as more information about the situation in Iran comes in.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has already made a statement seeking to reassure the population there would be no disruptions to ongoing state affairs.

According to early reports, the crash was caused by bad weather, which made the search and rescue operation difficult.

In other news that could cause extra volatility in oil prices, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince postponed a visit to Japan because of his father’s health. According to some analysts, taken together with the news of Iran’s president, this could result in a spike of uncertainty.


Not all agree, however. "The oil market remains largely rangebound and without any fresh catalyst we will likely have to wait for clarity around OPEC+ output policy in order to break out of this range," ING’s Warren Patterson said, as quoted by Reuters.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mike Lewicki on May 20 2024 said:
    yeah the highest demand ever in May, June, July and August expected...

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