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Oil settles mixed on Russian supply, demand worries

An employee holds a crude oil sample at the Yarakta oilfield, owned by Irkutsk Oil Co, in Irkutsk region, Russia, March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

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  • U.S. Crude Stocks Crash as Exports Hit 2-Year High -EIA
  • Libya loses 550,000 bpd from blockades, NOC says
  • IMF lowers global growth forecast by almost a percentage point

April 20 (Reuters) – Oil was virtually unchanged on Wednesday as broader worries about economic growth and sluggish demand for oil weighed on tighter supply.

Brent crude futures fell 45 cents, or 0.4%, to settle at $106.80 a barrel.

First-month WTI crude futures, which expire on Wednesday, rose 19 cents to settle at $102.75, unchanged.

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Oil prices were supported by tighter supply prospects after sanctions were imposed on Russia – the world’s second largest oil exporter and a key European supplier – for its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special operation”. .

“As the war in Ukraine escalates, the likelihood of an extended duration of the conflict increases and the potential loss of Russian supply to the market increases,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates at Galena, said in a statement. Illinois.

The market was also buoyed by a government report indicating that U.S. crude inventories fell 8 million barrels last week due to an increase in exports to a more than two-year high, data showed. ‘Energy Information Administration.

However, both benchmarks fell around 5% on Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for global growth by almost a percentage point, citing the economic impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine. and warning that inflation had become a “clear and present danger” for many countries. Read more

“Weakening growth and rising inflationary pressures can only mean one thing: the specter of stagflation hangs over the global economy,” Prime Minister analyst Stephen Greenock said.

Continued coronavirus lockdowns in China have also hurt demand from the world’s top crude importer and are weighing on prices.

The European Commission is working to speed up the availability of alternative energy supplies in an attempt to reduce the cost of the Russian oil ban and persuade Germany and other reluctant European countries to agree to the measure, an official said. EU source to Reuters. Read more

Meanwhile, various outages have added to supply concerns. OPEC member Libya has been forced to shut down 550,000 barrels a day of production due to a wave of blockades on key oilfields and export terminals, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said in a statement. country. Read more

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known collectively as OPEC+, produced 1.45 million bpd below their production target in March as Russian production began to decline after the imposed sanctions by the West, according to a report by the producers’ alliance. Read more

(This story corrects Brent market movement in paragraph 2; fell, not rose)

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Additional reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar, Florence Tan in Singapore Editing by Louise Heavens and Chizu Nomiyama

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