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It is now a matter of when - not if - a major incident brings the world’s oil market to the brink

Norwegian owned Front Altair tanker
Suspected attacks on two vessels led to concerns that the energy industry could become embroiled in rising geopolitical tensions 

Oil tankers ablaze in the Gulf of Oman and the US pointing the finger at Iran should be enough to send the price of the world’s most vital commodity skyrocketing. Instead, oil prices have barely budged. Traders are not buying into the theory that Tehran wants a war, but they are worried about demand.

Dated Brent assessed by S&P Global Platts – the world’s most important oil benchmark – spiked by over 4pc following the attacks on Thursday and traded briefly just above $62.5 per barrel. On the face of it, this modest rise doesn’t reflect the risk to almost a fifth of the world’s oil shipped through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow 21-mile-wide channel separating Iran from the Arabian Peninsula.

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