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Oil Prices Underpinned By Supply Jitters

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures are up over 3% for the week with most of the gains attributed to the European Commission’s decision to place an embargo on Russian crude oil. This move is perceived as bullish because it lowers the available supply.

Demand is still a concern due to China’s COVID-related shutdowns, but conditions seem to be holding steady, which brings the country closer to gaining control of the situation and perhaps lifting restrictions sooner than expected. Nonetheless, the lockdowns have taken their toll on the economy, especially the services sector.

This week’s American Petroleum Institute (API) and U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly inventories report offered mixed results but they continued to highlight Europe’s strong demand for U.S. refined products, especially distillates.

Prices Underpinned by Supply Jitters

Crude oil prices are up this week due primarily to the release of the European Union’s plans for new sanctions against Russia, including an embargo on crude in six months.

The sanctions proposal, which needs unanimous backing by the 27 EU countries, also includes phasing out imports of Russian refined products by the end of 2022, and a ban on all shipping and insurance services for the transportation of Russian oil, according to Reuters.

Reuters also reported the French environment and energy minister, Barbara Pompili, said she was confident European…

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