The oil price surge after Saudi jets bombed Yemeni rebels will be "short-lived" as the market is well-supplied and a full-blown conflict with Iran is unlikely, analysts said today.
Oil prices jumped more than 5% in Asian trade today after Saudi and Gulf airstrikes hit targets of pro-Iran Huthi rebels.
This triggered fears of a massive confrontation in a region that pumps a quarter of the world's 92 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude supplies.
"This is just a short-lived surge and a temporary reaction to the airstrikes, mostly driven by speculators," Kuwaiti oil analyst Kamel al-Harami said.
"The oil market is super-saturated, there are 2-3 million bpd of extra supplies, US inventories are full and the likelihood of a major disruption is highly remote," Harami added.
He said Iran is at a critical stage of negotiations with Western powers over its controversial nuclear programme and is eagerly looking to lift crippling sanctions.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates - together pump around 17.5 million bpd.
Iran and Iraq, two key producers of oil cartel OPEC, raise the region's total production to around 23 million bpd or 25% of global supplies.
Most of GCC, Iran and Iraq oil exports pass through the strategic Hormuz Straits, off Iranian and Omani shores, to Asian markets.
The Islamic republic has many times threatened to close the straits but never did.
Yemen itself is a small oil producer accounting for a fraction of global output and cannot affect oil prices, but it borders Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude exporter, and impacts other Gulf markets.
Analysts said that the geopolitical tensions in Yemen are pushing prices higher.
"Yemen is not a big producer but it is a trade hub in the region so tensions over there could cause a disruption in the trading activities for energy products," they added.
Yemen controls the strategic Bab al-Mandab strait, a vital corridor through which 40% of the world's maritime trade passes.
Though little oil is exported through Bab al-Mandab, it is extremely vital for trade as it links with the Suez canal through the Red Sea.
The turmoil has overshadowed the effect of rising US crude supplies, which added another 8.2 million barrels in the week ending March 20.
World oil prices have collapsed by about 60% since June, with strong US production exacerbating elevated output by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Companies.