Oil prices continue to soar amid high demand for crude

Putin still making money from oil despite sanctions says expert

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By 00:15 GMT, Brent crude futures increased by 25 cents, also 0.3 percent up to $95.94 (£82.63) per barrel. Meanwhile, the US West Texas Intermediate crude increased by 19 cents or 0.2 percent to $88.10 (£75.88).

Last week, US crude stocks increased to 2.6million barrels, and according to weekly government data, on Wednesday crude exports rose to 5.1million barrels a day, which is a record amount.

According to expert traders, the increase in exports is credited to the widened TWI-Brent spread, which on Wednesday’s trade was over $8 (£6.89) per barrel.

The weakness of the US dollar has also been noted as a reason for the increase as its recent strength has been a contributing factor inhibiting oil market gains.

Meanwhile, a weaker dollar means that greenback-denominated crude is less expensive for other currency holders.

The Bloomberg news report which stated that the US and the European Union are likely to settle for a more relaxed cap on Russian oil prices also made prices rise.

According to the report, only the Group of Seven nations and Australia have committed to following the cap.

Next month it is thought that Europe will ban oil imports from Russia and limit Russian shippers from the global shipping insurance industry.

The US and Western officials have been warned by the World Bank that any plan that is finalised will need to be actively backed by emerging market economies if it is to be effective.

President Biden’s administration views the cap as a method of slashing oil revenues for Russia which is a major money pot funding its war in Ukraine.

US officials have rejected the Bloomberg News report which quoted unnamed sources saying they were being forced to relax plans for the prince cap.

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No price range has been decided yet, but according to Reuters, someone who is close to the process said the cap will be determined in line with the historical average of $63-64 (£54-£55) per barrel – which could form a natural upper limit.

The historical average compares with comments from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen who said a price cap around $60 would give Russia an incentive to continue producing oil.

A spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council said: “The White House and the administration are staying the course on implementing an effective, strong price cap on Russian oil in coordination with the G7 and other partners.”

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