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Crude oil price hits $126/barrel record high level due to ongoing Russia-Ukraine war

OPEC crude oil price is also fluctuating around $123 a barrel with no immediate chance of relief in oil prices

International crude oil prices continued forward march amid an ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

Brent crude futures have surged $8.46, or 7.2%, to $126.57 a barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude has increased by $7.65, or 6.6%, to $123.33. OPEC crude oil is also fluctuating around $123 a barrel.

Oil prices surged over 6%, touching their highest since 2008 on Monday after the United States and European allies mull a Russian oil import ban while delays in the potential return of Iranian crude to global markets fuelled tight supply fears.

In the first few minutes of trade on Monday, both benchmarks spiked more than $10 a barrel to their highest since July 2008 with Brent at $139.13 and WTI at $130.50.

Monday’s intraday highs are near record levels seen for both contracts in July 2008 when Brent hit $147.50 a barrel and WTI touched $147.27.

The United States and European allies are exploring banning imports of Russian oil, Blinken said on Sunday, and the White House coordinated with key Congressional committees moving forward with their own ban. 

“A boycott would put enormous pressure on oil and gas supply that has already felt the impact of increasing demand,” CMC Markets analysts said.

“Prices are likely to rise in the short term, with a move toward $150 a barrel not out of the question.”

“Such a move will put further pressure on global economies, pushing inflation higher, leaving central banks debating how quickly rate hikes should be implemented.”

Global oil prices have spiked 65% since the start of 2022, along with other commodities, raising concerns about world economic growth and stagflation. China, world’s No. 2 economy, is already targeting a slower growth of 5.5% this year. 

Fuel prices have surpassed 2008 records, with US gasoline hitting $3.890 per gallon and heating oil futures at $4.2373 per gallon. 

Analysts at Bank of America said if most of Russia’s oil exports were cut off, there could be a 5 million barrel or larger shortfall, and that means oil prices could double from $100 to $200 a barrel, while JP Morgan analysts said this week oil could soar to $185 per barrel this year.

Russia is the world’s top exporter of crude and oil products combined, with exports of around 7 million bpd, or 7% of global supply. Some volumes of Kazakhstan’s oil exports from Russian ports have also faced complications.

Despite the oil price surge, US energy firms cut the number of operating oil rigs last week, underscoring supply concerns. In Libya, the closure of the El Feel and Sharara oilfields resulted in a loss of 330,000 barrels per day (bpd), the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Sunday, more than 25% of its output in 2021. 

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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