NEW YORK: Oil prices ended 3% higher on Friday at fresh seven-year highs as escalating fears of an invasion of Ukraine by Russia, a top energy producer, added to concerns over tight global crude supplies. Russia has massed enough troops near Ukraine to launch a major invasion, Washington said, as it urged all U.S. citizens to leave the country within 48 hours.
Britain also advised its nationals to leave Ukraine as Prime Minister Boris Johnson impressed the need for NATO allies to make it absolutely clear that there will be a heavy package of economic sanctions ready to go, should Russia invade Ukraine. Brent crude futures settled US$3.03, or 3.3%, higher at $94.44 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose $3.22, or 3.6%, to $93.10 a barrel.
Both benchmarks touched their highest since late 2014, surpassing the record highs hit on Monday, and posted their eighth consecutive week of gains on growing concerns about global supplies as demand recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. Trading volumes spiked in the last hour of trading, with volumes for global benchmark Brent climbing to their highest in more than two months. "The market doesn't want to be short going into the weekend... if an invasion appears to be imminent and you know that there will be retaliatory sanction that will result in a disruption in natural gas and oil supplies," Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston. The International Energy Agency raised its 2022 demand forecast and expects global demand to expand by 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) this year, reaching an all-time record 100.6 million bpd. The energy watchdog's report follows the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' warning earlier this week that world oil demand might rise even more steeply this year on a strong post-pandemic economic recovery. The IEA added that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates could help to calm volatile oil markets if they pumped more crude, adding that the OPEC+ alliance produced 900,000 bpd below target in January. The two OPEC producers have the most spare production capacity and could help to relieve dwindling global oil inventories that have been among factors pushing prices towards $100 a barrel, deepening inflation worldwide. The Biden administration responded to high prices by again stating this week that it has been talking with large producers about more output, as well as the possibility of additional strategic releases from large consumers, as it did late last year. Indirect U.S.-Iran nuclear talks resumed this week after a 10-day break. A deal could see the lifting of sanctions on Iranian oil and ease supply tightness. In the United States, drillers added the most oil rigs in a week in four years, with the rig count, an indicator of future production, rising 19 to 516, its highest since April 2020, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said.- Reuters
By Alex Longley+Follow February 17, 2022, 3:52 AM GMT+8
Forget the futures market, the world’s most important oil price just smashed through $100 a barrel with every sign it is going to push higher. Dated Brent, the price of cargoes bought and sold in the North Sea, reached $100.80 a barrel on Wednesday for the first time since 2014, according to S&P Global Platts, the company that publishes the marker. Price spreads in the futures market are pointing to one the tightest markets ever.....
MOSCOW, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the deployment of troops to two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine after recognising them as independent on Monday, accelerating a crisis the West fears could unleash a major war. A Reuters witness saw tanks and other military hardware moving through the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk after Putin issued a decree recognising the breakaway regions and told Russia's defence ministry to send in forces to "keep the peace". The moves drew U.S. and European condemnation and vows of new sanctions although it was unclear whether it was Putin's first major step toward a full-scale offensive in Ukraine that Western governments have warned about for weeks. A senior U.S. official said the deployment to breakaway enclaves already controlled by separatists loyal to Moscow did not yet constitute a "further invasion" that would trigger the harshest sanctions, but that a wider military campaign could come at any time. There was no word on the size of the force Putin was dispatching, but the decree said Russia now had the right to build military bases in the breakaway regions. In a lengthy televised address packed with grievances against the West, a visibly angry Putin described Ukraine as an integral part of Russia's history and said eastern Ukraine was ancient Russian lands. Russian state television showed Putin, joined by Russia-backed separatist leaders, signing a decree recognising the independence of the two Ukrainian breakaway regions - the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic - along with agreements on cooperation and friendship. Defying Western warnings against such a move, Putin had announced his decision in phone calls to the leaders of Germany and France earlier, the Kremlin said. Moscow's action may well torpedo a last-minute bid for a summit with U.S. President Joe Biden to prevent Russia from invading Ukraine, which the senior U.S. official said was now in doubt. Oil jumped to a seven-year high, safe-havens currencies like the yen rallied and U.S. stock futures dived as Europe's eastern flank stood on the brink of war. The rouble extended its losses as Putin spoke, at one point sliding beyond 80 per dollar. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who received a solidarity call from Biden, accused Russia of wrecking peace talks and ruled out territorial concessions in an address to the nation early on Tuesday. Biden, who also spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron and Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz, quickly signed an executive order to halt all U.S. business activity in the breakaway regions and ban import of all goods from those areas. White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said the measures were separate from sanctions the United States and its allies have been readying if Russia invades Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the executive order "is designed to prevent Russia from profiting off of this blatant violation of international law." The U.N. Security Council was due to meet publicly on Ukraine at 9 p.m. EST Monday (0200 GMT on Tuesday), a Russian diplomat said, following a request by the United States, Britain and France. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's spokesman said Germany, France and the United States had agreed to respond with sanctions, while British Foreign Minister Liz Truss said Britain would announce new sanctions on Tuesday. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg accused Russia of "trying to stage a pretext" for a further invasion. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. In his address, Putin delved into history as far back as the Ottoman empire and as recent as the tensions over NATO's eastward expansion. His demands that Ukraine drop its long-term goal of joining the Atlantic military alliance have been repeatedly rebuffed by Kyiv and NATO states. With his decision to recognise the breakaway regions, Putin brushed off Western warnings. "I deem it necessary to make a decision that should have been made a long time ago - to immediately recognise the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic," Putin said. A French presidential official said the speech "mixed various considerations of a rigid and paranoid nature".
DIPLOMATIC WINDOW NARROWS Putin has for years worked to restore Russia's influence over nations that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union, with Ukraine holding an important place in his ambitions. Russia denies any plan to attack its neighbour, but it has threatened unspecified "military-technical" action unless it receives sweeping security guarantees, including a promise that Ukraine will never join NATO. Recognition of the separatist-held areas will narrow the diplomatic options to avoid war, since it is an explicit rejection of a seven-year-old ceasefire mediated by France and Germany. Separately, Moscow said Ukrainian military saboteurs had tried to enter Russian territory in armed vehicles leading to five deaths, an accusation dismissed as "fake news" by Kyiv. Those developments fit a pattern repeatedly predicted by Western governments, who have accused Russia of preparing to fabricate a pretext to invade by blaming Kyiv for attacks and relying on pleas for help from separatist proxies. Washington says Russia has massed a force numbering 169,000-190,000 troops in the region, including the separatists in the breakaway regions, and has warned of invasion at any moment.
MOSCOW/KYIV, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Russian forces fired missiles at several cities in Ukraine and landed troops on its south coast on Thursday, officials and media said, after President Vladimir Putin authorised what he called a special military operation in the east. Shortly after Putin spoke in a televised address on Russian state TV, explosions could be heard in the pre-dawn quiet of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. Gunfire rattled near the capital's main airport, the Interfax news agency said, and sirens were heard over the city.
The worldwide supply of oil was already failing to keep up with demand. If Russia, the world's No. 2 oil producer, intentionally held back supply, it would likely send oil prices skyrocketing, dealing a painful blow to consumers around the world. JPMorgan has warned that oil would spike to $150 a barrel in the event that Russia's exports are cut in half. That would translate to a roughly 41% increase from the recent high of nearly $106 a barrel.
WASHINGTON ? President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that the U.S. will target "the main artery of Russia's economy" by banning the import of Russian energy products. "We're banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy," Biden said in remarks from the White House. "That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at U.S. ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin's war machine."
The president warned that the move would probably increase gas prices in the U.S., but that it was necessary to ramp up sanctions pressure on Russia's economy for its war on Ukraine.� ?Putin's war is already hurting American families at the gas pump," Biden said. "I?m going to do everything I can to minimize Putin's price hike here at home.? Biden's language clearly anticipated a concerted Republican effort to blame him directly for the rise in gas prices, which hit a record in the U.S. on Tuesday. With gas prices certain to become a huge political issue in this year's midterm elections, Biden devoted much of his remarks to focusing American anger directly on Putin, while also encouraging U.S. energy companies to produce more domestic oil. The president said the U.S. had made the decision to ban Russian energy products "in close consultation" with allies around the world, particularly in Europe. He said many of those partners may not be able to take the same action. "The United States produces far more oil domestically than all of Europe," said Biden, who said the U.S. is a net exporter of energy. "We can take this step when others cannot, but we're working closely with Europe and our partners to develop a long-term strategy to reduce their dependence on Russian energy as well."
BENGALURU, March 8 (Reuters) - Oil prices settled around 4% higher on Tuesday as the United States banned Russian oil imports and Britain said it will phase them out by year end, decisions expected to further disrupt the global energy market where Russia is the second-largest exporter of crude. Oil prices have surged more than 30% since Russia invaded Ukraine, and the United States and other countries imposed a raft of sanctions. Russian oil and gas exports were already being shunned before the ban as traders sought to avoid running afoul of future sanctions. U.S. President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil and other energy imports. Britain said it will phase out the import of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022, giving the market and businesses time to find alternatives.
Brent crude futures settled at $127.98 a barrel, 3.9% higher, while U.S. crude futures settled at $123.70 a barrel, a 3.6% increase.
Russia ships 7 million to 8 million barrels per day of crude and fuel to global markets. European allies are not expected to join the United States in the ban, but major buyers there are already shunning Russian oil. Shell, the one notable major that did buy Russian crude, faced a torrent of criticism, including from Ukraine's foreign minister. On Tuesday, Shell said it would no longer buy Russian oil. The disruption could ripple through other energy markets, as Russian oil and products are used for refining into other goods...
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will reopen its borders to international travellers starting April 1, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Tuesday (March 8). The Prime Minister said visitors, as well as Malaysian returnees, who are fully vaccinated are not required to undergo quarantine upon arrival. They, however, must undergo a RT-PCR test two days before departure and a rapid test (RTK) upon arrival. As for travellers who have not been fully vaccinated, Ismail Sabri said the entry procedures will be explained by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on Wednesday (March 9). ?As part of our ?Transitioning to Endemicity? phase, the government has decided to reopen the country?s borders from April 1. ?This move will revive the country?s economy, especially the tourism industry that has been heavily affected by the pandemic. ?The decision is made based on science and current facts related to Covid-19, as well as the reopening of borders in other countries...
Oil prices rallied early on Monday amid EU consultations about potentially joining the U.S. in banning imports of Russian oil. As of 7:45 a.m. ET on Monday, WTI Crude was up 3.87% at $108.91 and Brent Crude was trading up 3.93% at $112.30.
NEW YORK, March 23 (Reuters) - Oil prices jumped 5% to over $121 a barrel on Wednesday as disruptions to Russian and Kazakh crude exports via the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) pipeline added to worries over tight global supplies. The situation adds to market worries about the ripple effect of heavy sanctions on Russia, the world's second-largest crude exporter, after its invasion of Ukraine. The CPC pipeline is a significant supply line for global markets, carrying around 1.2 million barrels per day of Kazakhstan's main crude grade, or 1.2% of global demand.
Brent crude futures settled up $6.12, or 5.3%, to $121.60, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose $5.66, or 5.2%, to $114.93 a barrel. Oil benchmarks have been steadily rallying since Russia invaded Ukraine a month ago in what it calls a "special operation" and United States and its allies slapped heavy sanctions on that nation, disrupting worldwide oil trade. Russia exports between 4 million and 5 million barrels of crude every day, making it the world's second-largest exporter behind Saudi Arabia. Analysts have varying estimates of how much oil will be unable to make it to market.
KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — The Minister of Finance (Incorporated) MoF Inc may provide financial assistance to ailing oil-and-gas giant Sapura Energy Bhd, according to sources.
Sources familiar with developments at the wholly-owned Finance Ministry unit told The Edge that the intervention would be made under MoF (Inc) Act, which empowered the finance minister to enter into business transactions for social and strategic purposes.
"From what I know it is MoF Inc that will step up (lend a helping hand to Sapura Energy. What is discussed at present is some sort of assistance package...it could be a grant of some sort and it could be announced soon," one source was quoted as saying in the latest edition of The Edge.
It also said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz has been working on the proposal for several weeks......
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