Singapore (AFP) – US oil futures surged Friday following the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for March delivery soared as much as 3.1 percent in New York after the Saudi royal court announced the death.

In early morning Asian trade, WTI was up $ 1.03, or 2.22 percent at $ 47.34 a barrel. Brent crude for March was unchanged at $ 49.00 a barrel.