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Oil Prices Surge as Russia Strikes Ukrainian Energy Facilities

Russia has targeted Ukranian energy facilities in an overnight attack with long-range precision weapons, Russia's Defense Ministry said on Friday. 

"Last night, the Russian Armed Forces delivered a combined strike by air-launched, seaborne and ground-based long-range precision weapons, including Kinzhal aero-ballistic hypersonic missiles, and also by unmanned aerial vehicles against energy facilities and air defense sites of the Ukrainian army. The goals of the strike were achieved. All the targets were struck," The ministry said. 

Ukraine's largest power provider, DTEK, said that three of its thermal power stations were targeted in the overnight attacks. According to the Ukrainian military, the attack included dozens of missiles and at least 60 explosive drones—all aimed at energy infrastructure. Ukraine said that 84 of 99 missiles were shot down, but the late-night attacks did manage to damage Ukraine's energy assets in six separate regions, some of which triggered emergency shutdowns. 

The Russian attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure come after Ukraine stepped up its drone attacks on Russian refineries in recent weeks, reducing Russia's overall refinery capacity and cutting into Russia's refinery output, including gasoline and diesel production for its own domestic market. The United States had urged Ukraine to stop its attacks on Russia's refineries on concerns that any Russian retaliation could result in a spike in crude oil prices. Rising crude oil prices, which lead to higher gasoline prices, are problematic for sitting U.S. presidents in election years.  

Crude oil prices were trading up on Friday morning, with Brent reaching $87 per barrel—an increase of 1.86% on the day or $1.59 per barrel. 

Earlier this week, Russia attacked an underground natural gas storage site in Ukraine, but the attack did not disrupt supply. 

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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