(London) Oil prices fell slightly on Wednesday, despite growing geopolitical tensions in the Red Sea, with the United States patrol in the region reassuring the market about the transport of crude in the area.

Around 6:10 a.m., the price of a barrel of North Sea Brent, for delivery in February, fell 0.51%, to $80.66.

Its American equivalent, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), for delivery the same month, lost 0.65%, to 75.08 dollars.

The price of oil has stabilized “with the dissipation of fears of attacks in the Red Sea following the formation of a maritime patrol force led by the United States, and the return” of some large shipowners, comments Susannah Streeter, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

The United States patrols this strategic region of the globe alongside an international coalition to protect maritime traffic from attacks by the Houthis, a Yemeni rebel group supported by Iran which says it is in solidarity with Palestinian Hamas in its war against Israel in the Gaza Strip.

The US military announced on Tuesday that it had intercepted numerous drones and missiles fired by the Houthis in the southern Red Sea.

“Prices are expected to remain high as military operations in Gaza are expected to continue, and there are still fears of a further escalation,” warns Ms. Streeter.

The day before, the prices of the two global crude benchmarks had in fact increased “due to a significant increase in geopolitical risk”, explains Stephen Innes, analyst at SPI AM, with the market showing concern about the possible consequences of the conflict in the Middle East. -East on the transport of oil.

“The conflict in Gaza has taken on a regional dimension. Daily attacks are being carried out against US targets in Iraq and Syria, with Iran and its allies perceiving the US as complicit with Israel.

However, “skepticism reigns regarding the escalation of the conflict from a regional war” to a larger-scale war, which further tempers prices, the analyst adds.