(Bloomberg) -- Oil investors piled into the options market days before Iran launched its attack on Israel and traded a record amount of contracts that profit from higher prices.

Just over 1 million calls on the global Brent crude benchmark traded last week, surpassing a previous record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The volumes were focused on contracts at $95 and above $100, with bullish calls trading at hefty premiums to bearish puts in recent weeks. 

At the time, the futures contract traded at just above $90. 

Traders have been flocking to the oil options market in order to hedge themselves against the risk of prices moving higher if the conflict between Israel and Iran widens further. Options are often used to protect against major geopolitical risks as they allow a cheaper way of profiting from a spike in prices.

Many of the bets won’t have profited yet given that crude prices and market volatility retreated when the market opened early on Monday, with the benchmark now changing hands below $90. However, as tensions in the region remain high such hedges are likely to remain in place over the coming weeks. 

Calls at $100 and $110 are the most held options contracts over the next 12 months for Brent, according to ICE Futures Europe data compiled by Bloomberg. On Thursday alone, about 29 million barrels of new call option contracts were opened on the nearest trading month. 

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