Oil prices rise amid global supply concerns

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices rose on Friday with Brent crude on track for its biggest weekly jump in 1-1/2 months, supported by the prospect of an EU ban on Russian oil and the upcoming U.S. summer driving season.

Brent crude futures were up 35 cents at $117.8 a barrel at 0830 GMT after rising as high as $118.17 earlier in the session.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 10 cents at $114.2 per barrel.

“Supply concerns are definitely in focus as (the) U.S. product market has tightened significantly, while the European Union is still considering ban on Russian crude exports,” Reuters quoted Madhavi Mehta, commodity research analyst at Kotak Securities, as saying.

The “U.S. market will remain in focus in the near term as we are near the start of the summer driving season. Also in focus will be China’s virus situation and whether more measures are being taken to support the economy,” she added.

Both benchmark crude contracts were poised to end the week higher as the European Commission continued to seek unanimous support of all 27 EU member states for its proposed new sanctions against Russia, with Hungary posing a stumbling block, Reuters reported.

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