Oil Declines as EU Refrains From Fresh Action on Russian Crude

  • Bloomberg
  • Commodities News
Oil Declines as EU Refrains From Fresh Action on Russian Crude
Credit: © Reuters.

(Bloomberg) -- Oil fell after European Union leaders eschewed for now fresh action to cut imports of Russian crude.

West Texas Intermediate dropped below $112 a barrel after losing more than 2% on Thursday. EU leaders, along with NATO and Group of Seven members, gathered in Brussels on Thursday to assess their response to Russia’s month-old invasion of Ukraine. There’s no consensus among the EU on cracking down on Moscow’s oil, with opposition from nations including Austria.

Still, U.S. President Joe Biden remains in the region on Friday, and the administration may yet unveil measures to help Europe reduce flows of Russian natural gas . A senior EU official said that a political deal between Biden and the EU will pave the way for additional imports of liquefied natural gas from the U.S. to help the bloc wean itself off imports of the fuel from Russia.

Crude has rallied over the past four months, hitting the highest since 2008 in early March, as the invasion roiled already-tight commodity markets. In response, the U.S. and U.K. have moved to bar Russian oil, and many western energy companies are also choosing to shun the nation’s crude. Buyers in Asia, including China and India, appear to be soaking up some of those barrels.

Oil markets remain backwardated, a bullish pattern marked by higher prices for near-term barrels over those further out. Brent’s prompt spread -- the difference between its two nearest contracts -- was $3.67 a barrel, up from 41 cents at the start of the year.

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