Crude Oil Rises as G7 Nations Move to Sanction Russian Energy
By Adedapo Adesanya
Crude oil traded higher on Monday as investors waited for any moves against Russian energy exports that might come out of a meeting of leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations in Germany.
The seven wealthy nations – the US, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan – on Monday vowed to stand with Ukraine “for as long as it takes”, promising to tighten the squeeze on Russia’s finances with new sanctions that include a proposal to cap the price of Russian oil.
Imposing the oil price cap aims to hit Russian President Vladimir Putin’s finances to the war in Ukraine while actually lowering energy prices.
This development caused the price of Brent crude to rise by $1.23 or 1.07 per cent to $116.32 per barrel and jerked the United States West Texas Intermediate crude up by $1.24 or 1.13 per cent to $110.79 per barrel.
Yesterday, the US said the dual objectives of G7 leaders have been to take direct aim at Mr Putin’s revenues, particularly through energy, but also to minimize the spillovers and the impact on the G7 economies and the rest of the world.
Western sanctions have hit Russia’s economy hard and the new measures are aimed at further depriving the country of oil revenues.
It was also revealed that G7 countries would work with others – including India – to limit the revenues that Mr Putin can continue to generate.
Analysts point out that this may not work since two of the world’s largest importers (which are not G7 members), China and India, have become Russia’s biggest customers.
In an unprecedented turn of event, the world’s most-watched oil data report on inventories from the US will not be released.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) will not release any further data, the agency said in an update on the heavily anticipated inventory figures that were due to be released last Wednesday.
The data was not published last week after the EIA discovered “a voltage irregularity, which caused hardware failures on two of our main processing servers.”
This failure prevented the EIA from processing and releasing multiple reports last week—including its highly sought-after Weekly Petroleum Status Report, which publishes the US crude oil inventory data, among others.
Last week, the oil industry had to rely on inventory figures from the American Petroleum Institute (API) which surveys the same companies and uses the same form to collect the data but gets different outcomes based on different models.
Also, recession fears seem to have taken the backseat amid pressing supply worries.
Members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies including Russia, known as OPEC+, will probably stick to a plan for accelerated oil output increases in August when they meet on Thursday, June 30.
The producer group also trimmed its projected 2022 oil market surplus to 1 million barrels per day, down from 1.4 million barrels per day previously.
OPEC member Libya said on Monday it might have to halt exports in the Gulf of Sirte area within 72 hours amid unrest that has restricted production.
Adding to the supply woes, former OPEC member, Ecuador also said it could suspend oil production completely within 48 hours amid anti-government protests in which at least six people have reportedly died.