May 18, 2022

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Concerns about Russian supplies are driving up oil prices

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Oil prices soared ahead of a long weekend in light trade, with traders betting on the possibility of a European embargo on Russian oil imports, against larger-than-expected growth in US oil reserves and lower refining activity in China.

Brent crude futures rose 42 cents, or 0.4%, to $ 109.17 a barrel, while US Brent crude futures rose 23 cents, or 0.22%, to $ 104.39.

Although the EU did not impose a ban on Russian oil imports in response to Russia’s occupation of Ukraine, EU officials are developing a ban on Russian oil products, the New York Times reported.

This comes at a time when Chinese refineries are preparing to cut crude oil production by about 6% this month, the last of two years ago in the early days of the “Govit 19” epidemic – the latest to clear up swollen fuel reserves. According to industry sources and analysts, the closures are due to an increase in “corona” injuries due to consumption reduction.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said U.S. oil stocks rose more than nine million barrels last week, driven by a withdrawal from strategic reserves, despite signs of persistent global supply disruptions.

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