Brent crude rockets above $60 a barrel for first time since July 2015

  • Brent crude oil rose to above $60 a barrel to the highest level since July 2015.
  • U.S. crude spiked to a nearly 8-month high and approached $54 a barrel.
  • Oil prices broke through key technical levels and were boosted by geopolitical tension and expectations exporters will extend OPEC-led output cuts.

Brent crude oil spiked higher on Friday to trade above $60 a barrel for the first time in more than two years.

The international benchmark for oil prices was trading up $1.05, or 1.8 percent, at $60.35 a barrel at 11:17 a.m. ET (1517 GMT). It was near the highest level since July 2015, bolstered by comments about cutting production from the influential crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose $1.17, or 2.2 percent, to $53.81 a barrel on Friday, approaching a nearly eight-month high.

Analysts say WTI cracked through technical resistance levels around $53 a barrel, helping it to break out higher. Resistance for Brent crude stood between $58.50 and $59 a barrel, Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis at Oil Price Information Service, told CNBC earlier this week.

Oil prices have gotten a boost this month from geopolitical tension and expectations that OPEC and other oil exporters will extend a deal to limit their oil output.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman told Reuters he supports extending the agreement, which aims to keep about 1.8 million barrels off the market between January of this year and March 2018.

Crude oil supplies from northern Iraq have fallen after the central government took control of oil fields in disputed territories from Kurdish forces. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump's threats to scrap a historic deal that lifted sanctions on Iran's energy sector has raised concerns about that country's oil exports.