By Sonali Paul
(Reuters) – Oil prices climbed on Wednesday on worries that sliding output in sanctions-hit Russia, the world’s second-biggest oil exporter, will tighten supply after Moscow said peace talks to resolve its invasion of Ukraine had come to a dead end.
Brent crude futures rose 59 cents, or 0.6%, to $105.23 a barrel at 0053 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures jumped 60 cents, or 0.6%, to $101.20 a barrel. Both contracts surged more than 6% in the previous session.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday blamed Ukraine for derailing peace talks, and said Moscow would not let up on what it calls a “special operation” to disarm its western neighbour.
“Russian President Vladimir Putin said peace talks with Ukraine are ‘at a dead end’, while suggesting the seven-week offensive is going to plan. This raises the spectre of continued risk of supply disruptions in the oil market,” ANZ oil analysts said in a note.
The latest data showed Russian oil and gas condensate production dropped below 10 million bpd on Monday, its lowest level since July 2020, as sanctions imposed by many countries after Russia invaded Ukraine and logistical constraints hamper trade, people familiar with the data said on Tuesday.
Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said late on Tuesday the country was prepared to sell oil and oil products to “friendly countries in any price range”, adding that Moscow was focused on ensuring the oil industry continues to function, Interfax news agency said.
Meanwhile, emerging reports of partial easing of some of China’s tight COVID-19 lockdowns have helped stoke bullish sentiment among some market players this week.
At the same, U.S. fuel demand appeared to be strong, as industry data showed gasoline stocks fell by 5.1 million barrels and distillate stocks fell by 5 million barrels, market sources said, citing American Petroleum Institute figures.
The declines were much bigger than analysts polled by Reuters had expected.
Source : Reuters