Russia is one of the world's biggest oil and gas exporters
Russia is one of the world's biggest oil and gas exporters
Russia is one of the world's biggest oil and gas exporters
Russia is one of the world’s biggest oil and gas exporters

Crude oil prices have risen amid continuing tensions in Ukraine and concerns about possible disruptions to Russian gas supplies.

The price of Brent crude futures rose above $108 a barrel in Monday trading – a gain of 0.8% on Friday’s close.

Pro-Russian militants are still occupying buildings in eastern Ukraine, ignoring a deadline to leave by Kiev.

EU foreign ministers are meeting to discuss further sanctions against Russia.

“There is a premium being built into the price by Putin’s land grab,” said Jonathan Barratt, of Barratt’s Bulletin, a commodity research firm in Sydney.

“They are peaking at the top end of the range.”

Brent crude oil was trading at $108.19 a barrel at 0900 BST, up 86 cents or 0.8%, while West Texas Intermediate crude was trading at $104.52, up 93 cents or 0.9%.

Gas supply threat

Energy analysts say the crisis in Ukraine is unlikely to have a direct impact on global oil supplies, and so further rises in the price of oil could be limited.

However, disruption to Europe’s gas supplies is possible.

President Putin wrote to EU leaders last week saying that Russia would cut gas supplies to Ukraine if it did not pay its bills.

This could lead to a reduction of gas supplies to Europe – much of which comes via pipelines across Ukraine.

The European Union’s Energy Commissioner, Guenther Oettinger, is expected to discuss this threat to gas supplies at Monday’s meeting of EU foreign ministers.

These tensions have overshadowed expectations of more Libyan crude oil coming into the market.

Libya’s western Zawiya oil port has resumed operations after protesters left the entrance to the facilities – the adjoining refinery is expected to restart production in about 24 hours.

Source BBC

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