Oil production

U.S. claims Iran shot down American drones prior to oil tanker attacks

In this image, jets of water are shot onto a large oil tanker on the ocean.
The Norwegian-owned Front Altair tanker, which was attacked in the Gulf of Oman. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Iranian forces reportedly shot down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone in the hours before Thursday's attack on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. official tells CNN.

Why it matters: Heightened tensions and hawkish American rhetoric in the wake of Thursday's incident have brought back recently reduced fears that the U.S. could be on course for war with Iran.

A crude tug of war on the global oil market

This image is a birds eye view of an oil tanker being sprayed with water from a smaller boat.
An Iranian navy boat tries to control the fire on Norwegian-owned Front Altair tanker. Photo: Tasmin News/AFP/Getty Images

Two big forces are tugging on the global oil market: the weakening global economy and rising geopolitical tensions over tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman.

Where it stands: The weakening economy is carrying a lot of weight despite the spike in tensions from the U.S. blaming Iran for yesterday's violence near the Strait of Hormuz, which is the world's biggest oil choke point.