Oil edges higher as investors focus on supply drop from Russia

Oil pumpjacks are seen in Lagunillas, Venezuela May 24, 2018. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices rose on Thursday as concerns about supply due to a potential European Union (EU) ban on Russian oil came to the fore.

Brent crude futures rose $1.92 to $108.7 a barrel at 0824 GMT.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained $1.77 to $104 per barrel, adding to a 19 cent gain in the previous session.

Analysts said market volatility is likely to pick up again soon, with the EU still weighing a ban on Russian oil for its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”, according to Reuters.

“EU discussions to ban or phase out Russian oil purchases, the biggest influence on crude prices in recent days, are on the back-burner but not settled yet, which may limit crude prices to a relatively narrow range on a daily settlement basis,” Reuters quoted Vandana Hari, founder of oil market analysis provider Vanda Insights, as saying.

“I continue to expect that Brent will remain in a choppy $100.00 to $120.00 range, with WTI in a $95.00 to $115.00 range… A potential European oil embargo on Russia next week after French elections, could see a move towards the top of the range,” said Jeffrey Halley, analyst at OANDA, Reuters reported.

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