US crude futures later gave up most of those gains to trade about 0.3% at nearly $63 a barrel. Brent crude, a global oil benchmark, was last up 0.6% to almost $68 a barrel.
The attacks were Iran’s response to the US killing last week of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad. Iran has called that attack an “act of war” and “state terrorism” and had vowed a response.
“It comes as no surprise that there has been a reprisal from Iran — the concern is that this is just the sign of things to come,” said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData.
President Donald Trump, who has previously visited one of the airbases targeted, has been briefed on the missile attacks. The Pentagon said it is “working on initial battle damage assessments” and will “take all necessary measures to protect and defend” US personnel and allies in the region.
Trump has previously vowed to hit back at Iran if it retaliated for the US drone strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force.
Investors are on high alert for any signs of a clash between the United States and Iran that threatens oil supplies in the Middle East. Crude prices retreated earlier this week on hopes that energy supplies won’t be impacted by the tensions.
Suhail Al Mazrouei told CNN Business that the cartel would seek to ensure that ample energy supplies are available.
“We will always make sure that we supply the world with whatever it requires,” al Mazrouei said, adding that the United Arab Emirates was building spare capacity in order to avoid shortages.
Still, the energy minister cautioned that even OPEC and its allies don’t have unlimited resources. “We have limitations as well,” he said, saying that the group “cannot just replace any quantity” of supply that is taken offline.
—CNN’s John Defterios, Veronica Rocha and Meg Wagner contributed to this report.