Tensions between two major oil producers in the Middle East is making the benchmark for more than half the world’s crude more expensive than the marker for U.S. supply.

U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude traded in New York had shifted to a premium versus London’s Brent last month after an American ban on oil exports was lifted. Now, as tensions increase between Saudi Arabia and Iran amid protests over the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric and an embassy attack in Tehran, the global marker is rising at a faster pace than WTI.

Saudi Arabia is the biggest member by output in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, while Iran is the fifth-largest in the group.

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