Oil twitchy after coming off 14-year highs, focus on U.S. ban on Russian oil

An oil pumpjack and a tank with the corporate logo of state oil company PDVSA are seen in an oil facility in Lagunillas, Venezuela January 29, 2019. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices rose on Tuesday, reflecting relief that European allies were not planning to join a possible U.S. ban on Russian oil imports.

Brent crude futures were up $2.01 at $125 a barrel at 0440 GMT, after trading as high as $126.35.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up $1.53 at $120 per barrel.

“Unless the war stops, [Brent] prices can go anywhere towards $156 a barrel,” Reuters quoted Ajay Kedia, director at Kedia Commodities in Mumbai, as saying.

Officials said late on Monday that the United States was willing to move ahead with a ban alone, and Germany, the biggest buyer of Russian crude, rejected plans for an energy embargo.

A senior U.S. official told Reuters that there was no final decision yet but “it is likely [to be] just the U.S. if it happens.”

Russia exports around 7 million barrels per day of crude and oil products.

If all of Russia’s oil exports were blocked from global markets, analysts have said prices could rocket to $200 a barrel, while Russia’s deputy prime minister said oil could soar to more than $300.

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