News Home » World » Oil prices up more than $4 as EU considers Russian oil ban

Around the World

Oil prices up more than $4 as EU considers Russian oil ban

Randy Mancini 26 Mar 21
Aerial view of Phillips 66 Company’s Los Angeles Refinery and Kinder Morgan Carson Terminal
FILE PHOTO: A view of the Phillips 66 Company's Los Angeles Refinery (foreground), which processes domestic & imported crude oil into gasoline, aviation and diesel fuels, and storage tanks for refined petroleum products at the Kinder Morgan Carson Terminal (background), at sunset in Carson, California, U.S., March 11, 2022. Picture taken March 11, 2022. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Bing Guan

March 21, 2022

By Noah Browning

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices jumped by more than $4 on Monday, with Brent crude climbing above $111 a barrel, as European Union nations considered joining the United States in a Russian oil embargo and after a weekend attack on Saudi oil facilities.

Brent crude futures were up $4.44, or 4.1%, at $112.37 a barrel by 1321 GMT, adding to a 1.2% rise on Friday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose $4.05, or 3.9%, to $108.75, extending Friday’s 1.7% jump.

Prices moved higher ahead of talks this week between European Union governments and U.S. President Joe Biden in a series of summits that aims to harden the West’s response to Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

EU governments will consider whether to impose an oil embargo on Russia.

Early on Monday, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Iryna Vershchuk, said there was no chance the country’s forces would surrender in the besieged eastern port city of Mariupol.

With little sign of the conflict easing, the focus returned to whether the market would be able to replace Russian barrels hit by sanctions.

“Optimism is seeping away about progress in talks to achieve a ceasefire in Ukraine and that’s sent the price of oil on the march upwards,” Susannah Streeter, senior markets analyst at UK-based asset manager Hargreaves Lansdown, said.

“With the possibility that more than a million barrels of Russian oil a day will be snubbed, given that the Netherlands and Germany combined received around a quarter of Russia’s crude and light oil exports, demand would shoot up for crude supplies from OPEC+ nations.”

Over the weekend, attacks by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group caused a temporary drop in output at a Saudi Aramco refinery joint venture in Yanbu, feeding concern in a jittery oil products market, where Russia is a major supplier and global inventories are at multi-year lows.

The latest report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, together known as OPEC+, showed some producers are still falling short of their agreed supply quotas.

(Additional reporting by Sonali Paul in Melbourne and Florence Tan in Singapore; Editing by David Goodman, Bernadette Baum and Barbara Lewis)