Oil prices were stable in an up-and-down session on Monday, after hitting their highest level in more than seven years on fears that a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine could lead to US and European sanctions that would curb exports from one of the world’s largest producers.
By 0910 GMT, Brent crude was down 11 cents, or 0.1%, at $94.33 a barrel, after hitting a high of $96.16, its highest level since October 2014.
* U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil was up 1 cent, or less than 0.1%, at $93.11 a barrel, near a session high of $94.94, its highest level since September. from 2014.
* “Market participants are concerned that a conflict between Russia and Ukraine could disrupt supply,” said Giovanni Staunovo, a commodities analyst at UBS.
* He added that the oil market is highly sensitive to any news of potential supply disruptions as oil inventories are low and spare capacity at oil producers is expected to decline further.
* Russia could invade Ukraine at any time and could create a surprise pretext for an attack, the United States said on Sunday.
* “If…a troop movement occurs, Brent crude will have no problem rising above the $100 level,” OANDA analyst Edward Moya said in a note. “Oil prices will remain extremely volatile and sensitive to progressive updates on the situation in Ukraine.”
* The tensions come as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, struggle to increase output despite promises to raise output by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd). till March.
* The International Energy Agency said the gap between OPEC+ output and its target widened to 900,000 bpd in January, while JP Morgan said the gap for OPEC alone was 1.2 million bpd.
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