Oil bulls are venturing back into the market as global conflict sparks concern that supply disruptions will leave buyers scrambling for barrels. Money managers boosted their net-long position - the difference between bets on rising prices and wagers on a decline - in Brent crude by 4.1 percent after cutting them the most since 2016 a week earlier. Geopolitical tensions have roiled the crude market, sending Brent prices higher since mid-July as global supplies tighten. U.S. plans to reimpose sanctions on Iran may sharply curtail the nation\u2019s oil exports, stoking concern that OPEC won\u2019t have enough spare capacity to meet rising demand. Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, temporarily halted shipments via a key Red Sea shipping lane after it said two tankers were attached by Yemen\u2019s Houthi militia. \u201cThe risk premium for Brent is definitely on right now given the war of words we\u2019ve seen against Iran - in general, political instability,\u201d said Ashley Petersen, lead oil analyst at Stratas Advisors in New York. \u201cI don\u2019t think markets are expecting that to get any better anytime soon.\u201d Iran has renewed threats to block the Strait of Hormuz since the U.S. announced its plan to reinstate sanctions and cut shipments from OPEC\u2019s third-largest producer to zero from about 2.5 million barrels a day now. U.S. efforts to cut Iran\u2019s oil exports are expected to contribute to global oil price volatility in the short term, according to the International Energy Agency. And concern persists that there won\u2019t be enough spare OPEC capacity to make up for losses from producers like Venezuela. The Brent net-long position rose to 367,640 contracts, the first gain in three weeks, ICE Futures Europe data show. \u201cIt lines up with our call to buy the dip in July,\u201d said Chris Kettenmann, chief energy strategist at Macro Risk Advisors LLC. \u201cWe\u2019ve been pretty vocal about adding to length through the July sell-off.\u201d Oil\u2019s Bull Trend Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said while U.S. policies may weigh on crude prices in the near term, prices are poised to re-test $80 a barrel later this year. \u201cOPEC could bring back 1 million barrels a day, but any barrels brought back by Saudi, Russia, Kuwait, those might just offset barrels lost from Iranian sanctions,\u201d said Noah Barrett, an energy research analyst at Janus Henderson Investors. Due to bottlenecks in the Permian Basin, \u201cU.S. production will continue to grow, but it probably won\u2019t exceed expectations. It\u2019s more likely it will disappoint to the downside.\u201d Though a shortage of pipelines persists in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, domestic crude production is hovering near a record 11 million barrels a day, according to the latest Energy Information Administration data. Hedge funds\u2019 net-long position in West Texas Intermediate crude fell 2.4 percent to 392,147 futures and options during the week ended July 24, according to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Longs fell and shorts rose. \u201cThere\u2019s just kind of an acknowledgment that there is still a lot of supply in Texas, so it\u2019s not clear sailing for prices,\u201d Petersen said. Total positioning on the U.S. benchmark and Brent slid to the lowest level since 2016. The reduction in participation shows that \u201cthe summer-time doldrums are here and there\u2019s not a lot of direction for this market at the moment,\u201d said John Kilduff, a partner at New York-based hedge fund Again Capital LLC. OTHER POSITIONS: Money managers increased their net-long position on benchmark U.S. gasoline by 14 percent. Hedge funds boosted their net-bullish position on diesel by 28 percent.