The prices of crude oil on Wednesday hit $113 a barrel, the highest since June 2014, amid supply fear following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Brent crude futures rose by as much as $8 and touched as high as $113.02 a barrel, the highest since June 2014, before easing to $111.75 at 0804 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up $7.24, or 7 per cent, to $110.67 a barrel, after earlier hitting the highest since August 2013, Reuters reported.
The concerns about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have spurred fear among oil investors that global supplies could be affected.
Russia is the world’s second-largest oil producer, mostly selling its crude to European refineries, and the largest supplier of natural gas to Europe, providing about 35 per cent of the latter’s supply.
On Tuesday, the International Energy Agency announced that its member countries have agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil from their emergency reserves to ease any supply shortfall caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“We are prepared to use every tool available to us to limit the disruption to global energy supply as a result of (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin’s actions,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki was quoted by Reuters as saying in a statement on Tuesday.
OPEC and its allies have agreed to meet today for critical talks on monthly output for April 2022.
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OPEC is expected to continue raising its overall production by 400,000 barrels a day for April as it continues to revive output halted during the pandemic, according to Bloomberg.
Reuters quoted the Westpac economist, Justin Smirk as saying “Trade disruptions are starting to get people’s attention.
“Issues around trade finance and insurance that’s all impacting exports from the Black Sea. The supply shocks are unfolding,” he said.
Reuters also quoted a York Harbor trader as saying “People are not touching Russian barrels. You may see some on the water right now, but they were bought prior to the invasion. There won’t be much after that”.
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