(New York) The two oil benchmarks jumped more than 8% on Thursday, to climb well above $100 a barrel, pushed by the war in Ukraine, the Kremlin having refused to suspend its offensive and the IEA fearing an oil supply shock.
A barrel of Brent from the North Sea for May delivery ended up 8.79% at 106.64 dollars.
A barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for April delivery gained 8.35% to $102.98.
“Oil prices accelerated after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he saw no signs that Vladimir Putin was ready to quit and that the United States feared that China was considering helping Russia” , commented Edward Moya, senior analyst for markets at Oanda.
“This war doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon and that likely implies that oil prices could see another big run up,” the analyst predicted.
Same story at Confluence Investment where Bill O’Grady underlines “that the fundamentals of the energy market are really bullish”.
“I don’t know how much oil and gas the Russians still manage to export, but it must start to shrink,” the analyst told AFP.
“I am watching with great interest if the Russians are filling up their storage tanks and if they are going to be forced to cut production, which would lead us to a real shortage in real life,” he said. warned, noting that, in this case, a barrel at 200 or even 250 dollars would not be out of reach.
Ukraine on Thursday accused Russia of bombing a theater in Mariupol in which “more than a thousand” civilians had taken refuge.
The head of French diplomacy Jean-Yves Le Drian accused Russia of “pretending to negotiate” a ceasefire while continuing to “make arms speak”, while his American counterpart Antony Blinken estimated that the Russian attacks on civilians in Ukraine constituted “war crimes”.
“The ongoing attacks in Ukraine and the Kremlin’s rejection of reports of substantial progress in the talks” look like “a real setback” for the market, also estimated Craig Erlam, analyst at Oanda.
“The Russian invasion continues to dictate price action to some extent, given its global supply significance,” said Victoria Scholar, analyst at Interactive Investor.
Russia is the world’s second largest exporter of crude oil.
Black gold prices were also boosted by the monthly report of the International Energy Agency (IEA), which fears a “shock” on world oil supply, following the sanctions against Russia taken after his invasion of Ukraine.
This “harsh assessment” by the IEA “raised fresh supply concerns, which added upward pressure on prices today” (Thursday), Victoria Scholar continued, with the IEA forecasting an even tighter market.