HOUSTON: Oil prices surged on Thursday, reversing course after an early fall as speculators purchased futures ahead of a long weekend on speculation that the European Union would phase in a ban on Russian oil imports.
Brent futures were up $1.35, or 1.30 per cent, at $110.19 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate futures were $1.24 or 1.18pc higher at $105.48 a barrel at 1:06 p.m. ET (1706 GMT) (1706 GMT).
Both contracts were on pace for their first weekly gain in April. For many weeks, prices have been the most volatile since June 2020.
The New York Times stated that the European Union was working toward enacting a phased-in embargo on Russian oil, to allow Germany and other countries time to secure alternate sources.