Business & Economy

Oil prices soar as Russia’s Ukraine invasion fuels supply concerns

(Update 1: Adds OPEC decision)

Vienna, Mar 2 (EFE).- The price of Brent crude on Wednesday exceeded $110, its highest price since 2014 as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine raged on and international sanctions against Moscow began to bite.

Fears of a global oil supply crisis following Russia’s military assault on Ukraine prompted Ryanair director Michael O’Leary to urge western nations to ramp up the production of oil to tame soaring prices.

Brent crude on Wednesday was trading at $111.59 on the London futures market, a 6.3% increase on Tuesday figures.

Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki urged European Union member states to block imports of Russian coal, oil and gas.

Poland is prepared to “immediately stop importing Russian coal,” the Polish leader said in a Wednesday appearance with European Council president Charles Michel, the Polish news agency PAP reported.

The Warsaw government is in talks with Australia to strike a deal on coal imports, Morawiecki added.

OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing associates, including Russia, confirmed at a meeting in Vienna on Wednesday a production increase of 400,000 barrels per day from April, in line with an agreement reached in July to gradually build up extraction to pre-pandemic levels.

Together with the United States, Russia is one of the three largest oil producers and the current conflict in Ukraine has raised fears a supply problem is imminent, as prices have been driven up amid a vigorous global demand.

In a bid to avoid supply problems, the International Energy Agency (IEA) agreed Tuesday to release 60 million barrels of oil from emergency reserves.

Inflation in the eurozone hit a new record high of 5.8% in February, seven tenths more than the previous month, according to a preliminary report published Wednesday by Eurostat.

The Russian stock market remained closed for a third day in a row, the exchange said in a statement, making it the longest closure of the Moscow bourse since 1998. EFE


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