Oil prices climb as market weighs release of reserves vs Russia disruption

(C) Reuters.

By Liz Hampton

(Reuters) – Oil futures rose on Tuesday morning, following a volatile start to the week, as the market weighed a coordinated international release of crude inventories against Russian supply disruptions in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

May Brent crude futures, which began trading as prompt on Tuesday, gained about 1% at 0141 GMT to $98.90. The benchmark touched a seven-year high of $105.79 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began last week.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) April crude futures were up about 0.8% at $96.53. That contract touched a high of $99.10 a barrel the previous day, and had settled up more than 4%.

Concerns over tightening supplies come as major oil and gas companies, including BP (NYSE:BP) and Shell (LON:RDSa), have announced plans to exit Russian operations and joint ventures. Buyers of Russian oil are also facing difficulty over payments and vessel availability as Western sanctions in response to the invasion of Ukraine take hold.

The market calmed as the United States and allies discuss a coordinated release of crude stocks in a bid to mitigate supply disruption. That release could tally up to between 60 and 70 million barrels, media outlets reported.

“That likely release is capping oil price rises for now,” analysts for Commonwealth Bank of Australia (OTC:CMWAY) wrote in a note.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is set to hold an extraordinary ministerial meeting on Tuesday to discuss what role its members can play in stabilising oil markets.

Russia, which calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”, exports some 4-5 million barrels per day of crude, and 2-3 million barrels per day of refined products.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers – including Russia – will also meet on Wednesday and are anticipated to maintain a gradual increase to supplies.

Oil prices climb as market weighs release of reserves vs Russia disruption

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