(New York) Oil prices saw a good part of their gains erased at the end of the session on Friday, the jump linked to the deterioration of the geopolitical situation in the Middle East running out of steam, for lack of direct effect on the offer.

The price of a barrel of North Sea Brent for delivery in March gained 1.13%, ending at $78.29.

A barrel of American West Texas Intermediate (WTI), due in February, gained 0.91%, to $72.68.

Earlier, Brent rose up to 4.31% to $80.75, crossing the $80 per barrel threshold for the first time this year.

Early Friday, American and British strikes targeted Houthi military sites, in response to a series of attacks carried out since November by Yemeni rebels against merchant ships in the Red Sea, in solidarity with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. .

After these raids, the Houthi Supreme Political Council warned that “all US-British interests [had] become legitimate targets for the Yemeni armed forces.”

These developments “increase the risks of a widening of the conflict [between Israel and Hamas] in the region and a disruption of the oil supply,” said Craig Erlam of Oanda in a note.

Especially since the seizure on Thursday by the Iranian authorities in the Gulf of Oman of an oil tanker at the origin of a dispute between the Islamic Republic and the United States is added to the strikes on Houthi sites. United.

Due to these events, “prices benefit from support, despite the sluggishness of demand”, underlined, in a note, Barbara Lambrecht, of Commerzbank.

However, “so far, we have not seen any disruption in the supply” of crude, even if the time and cost of transporting black gold from the Gulf to Europe or America have increased significantly, on average, commented Andy Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates.

“Despite the latest news, the general feeling remains that the risk” of significant supply problems “is low,” according to Craig Erlam. “Otherwise, prices would have gone up much more. »