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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Oil Prices Rally As The U.S. Enforces Sanctions On Russian Exports

  • Oil prices jumped by nearly 4% on Friday after the United States sanctioned two companies for breaching the Russian oil price cap.
  • After soaring at the start of the week due to the Hamas-Israel war, oil prices had fallen back on reports of an inventory build.
  • While supply concerns remain elevated due to the geopolitical risk surrounding the Israel-Hamas war, demand concerns remain relevant.
oil prices

Oil prices jumped by nearly 4% early on Friday after the United States took a tougher stance on the Western sanctions against Russia, adding to growing concerns about supply amid fears of escalation in the Hamas-Israel war.

As of 7:00 a.m. EST, the U.S. benchmark WTI Crude was up by 3.63% on the day at $85.95, and the international benchmark, Brent Crude, traded 3.50% higher at $88.99.

Both benchmarks were headed for a weekly gain after the Hamas attack on Israel pushed prices higher on Monday. But fears of economic slowdown and a build in U.S. commercial crude inventories capped the weekly gain.

On Friday, prices rallied after the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed late on Thursday sanctions on two entities and identified as blocked property two vessels that used Price Cap Coalition service providers while carrying Russian crude oil above the Coalition-agreed price cap.

The price cap of $60 per barrel of Russian crude oil set by the G7 and the EU says that Russian crude shipments to third countries can use Western insurance and financing if cargoes are sold at or below the $60-a-barrel ceiling. The measure took effect at the end of 2022 when the EU imposed an embargo on imports of Russian crude oil.

Thursday’s sanction move is the first time the U.S. has imposed sanctions for a breach of the price cap.

“Today’s action demonstrates our continued commitment to reduce Russia’s resources for its war against Ukraine and to enforce the price cap,” Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said in a statement.

“We remain committed to implementing a price cap policy that has two goals: reducing the oil profits upon which Russia relies to wage its unjust war against Ukraine and keeping global energy markets stable and well-supplied despite turbulence caused by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.”

While the market continues to be concerned about demand amid high interest rates and slowing developing economies, supply-side issues dominated trades early on Friday with the tougher U.S. stance on Russia and the fear of supply disruptions in the Middle East in case the conflict spreads.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on October 13 2023 said:
    If hundreds of unprecedented Western sanctions against Russia, bans on its crude oil and petroleum products and a price cap have failed miserably to even make the slightest dent on the Russian economy and Russian oil exports over a period of nearly two years, what could a few more sanctions achieve? The answer is an emphatic nothing.

    If this is the case, then how could a few more sanctions on two tanker companies: a Turkish and a UAE ones each owning one tanker cause oil prices to rise by 4%? It just beggars belief.

    The G7 price cap is dead and buried and Russia has been very successfully selling its oil at prices far above the cap since the very first day it was introduced.

    What is causing oil prices to rally is solid fundamentals including robust global oil demand, soaring Chinese crude oil imports, a tightening market and concerns about possible supply disruptions amid fears of escalation in the Hamas-Israel conflict.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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