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Oil Prices Reaches Two-Month High Due to Supply Constraints, European Union to Seek Embargo on Russian Crude

Oil Prices Reaches Two-Month High Due to Supply Constraints, European Union to Seek Embargo on Russian Crude

  • 27-May-2022 6:23 PM
  • Journalist: Francis Stokes

On Thursday, oil prices rose by 3% to a two-month high on signals of low supply ahead of the summer driving season in the United States, as the European Union (EU) wrangled with Hungary over plans to block petroleum imports from Russia in response to the country's invasion of Ukraine. Traders also highlighted that oil prices rose in tandem with an increase in equities and a weakening of the US dollar versus a basket of currencies, making oil cheaper in other currencies.

Brent futures rose by $3.37 to $117.40 per barrel, while WTI crude rose 3.4 percent to $114.09 per barrel. Brent was on track for its sixth consecutive daily rise and its best closing price since March 25. WTI was on track to close at its highest since March 23.

Following surging exports, a larger-than-expected drop in US crude stockpiles in the second week of May to May 20 buoyed the market on Wednesday. Analysts said the inventory decrease and the possibility of an EU oil embargo in response for what Moscow called its "special military operation" in Ukraine is constantly driving up the prices. "An EU embargo on Russian oil imports is the key upward driver," said another market analyst.

Hungary, on the other hand, continues to be a stumbling block to the EU penalties that require unanimous backing. Hungary is requesting 750 million euros ($800 million) to improve its refineries and expand a pipeline from Croatia, allowing it to transition away from Russian oil. Even without a formal ban, Russian oil is scarce on the market as buyers and traders avoid interacting with the country's crude and fuel providers.

As per ChemAnalyst, “the prices of crude for both benchmarks (WTI and brent) are likely to increase further in the upcoming weeks”.

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