Oil prices hits $119 as EU leaders crack down on Russia

Oil prices surged yesterday after EU leaders reached an agreement to ban 90 per cent of Russian crude by the end of the year.


However, prices reversed course around 2 p.m. ET yesterday following a report from The Wall Street Journal that OPEC is considering suspending Russia from the group’s output agreement. “It could certainly facilitate an early end to the current production agreement and a Saudi/UAE ramp up,” said Helima Croft, managing director and head of global commodity strategy at RBC.


“However in most cases it is the actual stressed producer that asks for the  exemption. An involuntary exemption might mean the breakup of OPEC+,” she added. U.S. crude futures ended the day 40 cents, or 0.35 per cent, lower at $114.67 per barrel. Earlier in the session it traded as high as $119.43, a price last seen in early March.


Brent crude futures last traded one per cent higher at $112.84 per barrel. Oil’s jump earlier in the session came after the EU’s agreement on an oil embargo, following weeks of deadlock after Hungary initially held up talks.


Hungary is a major user of Russian oil and its leader, Viktor Orban, has been on friendly terms with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said the move would immediately hit 75 per cent of Russian oil imports.




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