Oil extends gains on tight supply

A derek pumps in a oil field January 15, 2003 near the Saudi Arabian border. (Getty Images photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices extended gains on Thursday on signs of tight supply while the European Union wrangles with Hungary over plans to ban imports from Russia after it invaded Ukraine.

Brent crude futures rose 73 cents to $114.8 a barrel at 0822 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 80 cents to $111.1 per barrel.

“The focus in oil markets is on the EU summit taking place next week, at which another attempt will be made to agree on an EU-wide embargo on Russian oil,” Reuters quoted Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, as saying.

European Council President Charles Michel on Wednesday said he was confident that an agreement can be reached before the council’s next meeting on May 30, according to Reuters.

However, Hungary remains a stumbling block to the unanimous support for EU sanctions. The country is pressing for about 750 million euros to upgrade its refineries and expand a pipeline from Croatia to enable it to switch away from Russia oil.

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