Oil prices rose about 2 percent on Wednesday to the highest in 2½ years, with buying spurred on by a sixth day of unrest in OPEC member Iran and strong economic data from the United States and Germany.
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have deployed forces to three provinces to put down anti-government unrest, their commander said on Wednesday. Six days of protests have left 21 people dead.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up $1.26, or 2.1 percent, at $61.63 a barrel by 1:57 p.m. ET (1657 GMT), near their highest since June 2015.
Brent crude futures — the international benchmark for oil prices — rose $1.24, or 1.9 percent to $67.81 a barrel, having touched the highest level since May 2015.
"While the Iran tensions are certainly a factor, the slew of remarkably strong economic data today is also forcing the rally," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital in New York.