You are right that it is now the Middle East crisis that is leading the oil prices higher. The Middle East crisis started off when the US imposed sanctions on Iran and prevented its key customers from buying oil from Iran. Interestingly, Iran controls the crucial Strait of Hormuz, which moves nearly 30% of the global oil cargo in the world. Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz although it has not made any official attempt or announcement in this regard. The situation exacerbated last week when Saudi Arabia complained that two of its vessels and a few of the oil facilities of Aramco had been attacked, apparently by Iran.

The US, in the meanwhile, has accused Iran of using Iraq as its base for launching attacks on Saudi vessels and has withdrawn some of its diplomatic staff from these two countries. It is unclear what will be the shape of this Middle East crisis but oil prices have certainly shot up.