Oil prices surge as the Russia-Ukraine crisis escalates

Oil prices surge as the Russia-Ukraine crisis escalates

February 23, 2022: -Oil prices increased as the crisis between Russia and Ukraine escalated.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered forces into two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine and said he would recognize the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk.

In Asia afternoon trade Tuesday, U.S. crude surged 3.61% to $94.36 per barrel, while Brent increased 2.6% per barrel to $97.87.

Rising tensions have sent jitters through markets, driving oil prices higher. On Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden said the U.S. believes Putin has decided to attack Ukraine “in the coming days.”

Russia has built up some 150,000 troops along its border with Ukraine, and the Biden administration said previous week that as many as 7,000 additional troops have joined.

The military tensions have sparked concerns that Russia may be preparing to invade Ukraine, triggering fears of repeating the Kremlin’s illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea in 2014.

Russia was the supplier of natural gas and oil to the European Union last year, and these tensions are lending support to oil prices.

Crude prices recently crossed $90 per barrel, representing an increase of more than 20% this year and a more than 80% rally since the beginning of 2021. Those gains, however, can also be attributed to other factors such as tight supply.

Oil could spike to $110 per barrel if the crisis worsens, according to Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates.

“Should we have Russian oil supplies cut off to Europe, which is 3 million barrels a day, we could see oil prices rise another $10 to $15 a barrel, putting Brent at about $110 a barrel,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Tuesday.

“The market will rally on an invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine proper, and then it’s going to wait to see where the resupply comes from,” he added.

A deal aimed at reviving Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement is expected to be very close to being reached, raising the possibility of more than 1 million barrels a day of Iranian crude returning to the market.

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Oil prices surge as the Russia-Ukraine crisis escalates