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WTI rises as Gaza cease-fire in jeopardy

Hundreds of Palestinians, including women and children living in east part of Rafah, migrate to the west part of the Khan Yunis with their few belongings loaded on vehicles following the Israel’s announcement on the evacuation of neighborhoods, in Khan Yunis, Gaza on May 6, 2024. 

Ashraf Amra | Anadolu | Getty Images

Crude oil futures rose Tuesday as Israel’s prime minister dismissed a cease-fire proposal approved by Hamas as “sabotage,” again doubling down on a military operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the proposal accepted by Hamas was “meant to sabotage the entry of our forces into Rafah,” according to the Times of Israel. Netanyahu said the cease-fire proposal was “very far from Israel’s vital demands.”

Israeli forces seized the Rafah border crossing, sparking condemnation from Egypt, which has been mediating cease-fire talks. Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said “the operation in Rafah will not stop until Hamas is eliminated in the area or until the first captive returns to Israel.”

Here are today’s energy prices:

West Texas Intermediate June contract: $78.74 a barrel, up 26 cents, or 0.33%. Year to date, U.S. crude oil has gained about 10%.Brent July contract: $83.47 a barrel, up 14 cents, or 0.17%. Year to date, the global benchmark has gained 8.4%.RBOB Gasoline June contract: $2.56 a gallon, down 1.19%. Year to date, gasoline futures have gained about 22%.Natural Gas June contract: $2.20 per thousand cubic feet, up 0.54%. Year to date, gas has fallen about 12%.

Oil prices have briefly made moves higher on geopolitical risk in the Middle East for months now, even though no major disruption to crude supplies has occurred, before

Chevron CEO Mike Wirth said prices have remained in a relatively stable band but risk remains to the upside for oil due to the war’s proximity to the Strait of Hormuz — the most important global transit point for crude.

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WTI vs. Brent.

“A lot depends on the course of events here, we’re all hoping for an end to the conflict,” Wirth told CNBC at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference in Los Angeles on Monday. The market remains finely balanced between supply and demand, the CEO told CNBC after Chevron reported earnings in April.

Oil Prices, Energy News and Analysis

An Israeli delegation is due in Cairo to continue cease-fire negotiations “to exhaust the possibility of reaching an agreement under conditions acceptable to Israel,” according a statement from Netanyahu’s office.

A truce in the seven-month war remains elusive, said Tamas Varga, analyst at oil broker PVM. It is unclear whether a cease-fire would halt Houthi militant attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, the most material risk to oil so far, Varga said.

“And it would take a bold investor to bet on it,” Varga told clients in a note Tuesday.

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