As US oil producers in the Gulf of Mexico cut more than half their output in the face of a tropical storm and tensions continue in the Middle East, oil prices hover near their six-week highs.
International benchmark Brent crude futures rose by 53 cents or 0.8 percent to $67.05 a barrel on Friday. On Thursday, it hit an intra-day high of $67.65 per barrel, the highest since 30 May. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up by 42 cents, or 0.7 percent at $60.62 a barrel. It touched its highest level since 23 May in the previous session at $60.94.
Oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico had cut more than 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of output, or 53 percent of the region's production by Thursday due to Tropical Storm Barry which could make landfall Saturday on the Louisiana coast. The storm has been forecasted to become a category one hurricane with at least 74-mile-per hour (119 km-per-hour) winds.
Meanwhile, geopolitical tensions heightened after Iran's alleged attempt to block a British-owned tanker, in the wake of attacks on tankers and the downing of US drone by Iran in June.
Indian oil marketing company (OMC) stocks slipped following the rise in oil prices. Shares of IOCL were trading close to 1 percent lower, touching an intraday low of Rs 145.55. Shares of Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum also declined by more than 1 percent each.
Petrol prices in the country remained unchanged, while diesel rates were lowered on Friday. These rates are revised at 6 am every day based on the average of exchange rates and international oil prices in the last 15 days.