Muscat – Oil prices soared to their highest since mid-2008 due to delays in the potential return of Iranian crude to global markets and as the United States and European allies considered banning imports of Russian oil.
Oman crude contract price (for May 2022 delivery) at Dubai Mercantile Exchange on Monday jumped by US$16.29 to reach US$125.16 per barrel.
In the first few minutes of trading on Sunday, both benchmarks rose to their highest since July 2008 with Brent at US$139.13 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) at US$130.50. Both contracts hit their highest in July 2008 with Brent at US$147.50 a barrel and WTI at US$147.27.
Oil prices soared more than ten per cent in early Asian trade on Monday as the prospect loomed of European and US bans on Russian crude imports in protest against Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia is one of the world’s biggest crude producers and is also a leading supplier of natural gas.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said that the US was in “active discussions” with European nations about possibly banning Russian oil imports, which would effectively be another economic sanction on the pariah nation.
“We are now in very active discussions with our European partners about banning the import of Russian oil to our countries, while of course at the same time maintaining a steady global supply of oil,” Blinken told NBC talk show Meet the Press.
“The actions we’ve taken to date have already had a devastating impact on the Russian economy,” he said.
“Commodity and energy prices have inevitably been under upward pressure, with escalating sanctions against Russia and the shuttering of some Ukrainian ports driving the search for replacement supplies of crops, metals and energy,” noted Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor.
(With inputs from AFP)