The oil prices closed higher on Friday, March 19. It was a weekly loss for the second time in a row following volatile trading and no replacement option worked out for Russian imports. The Brent crude futures was up $1.29 percent to $107.93 for each barrel. A surge of about 9 percent was witnessed a day before and it was the biggest percentage gain on daily basis in nearly two years.
The US West Texas Intermediate crude futures was witnessed settling at $104.70 a barrel with an increase of $1.72. It was a jump of 8 percent from the previous session.
The two are benchmark contracts and both wrapped up down around 4 percent by the closing hour on Friday following trading in a range of $16. In early March, the prices had jumped 14-year high and this encouraged bouts of making profits.
Meanwhile, no agreement has been reached between Russia and Ukraine after rounds of talks even though some signs of peace had emerged.
Russian military assault is being continued on key Ukrainian cities including capital Kyiv and it is being believed Russia may face some fresh sanctions from the Western allies.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine started on February 24 and since then the crude prices have witnessed a rollercoaster ride as traders avoided the Russian barrels as well as dwindling over the oil stockpiles. Abreast of all these, the surge in Covid cases in China is making the situation worse.
The OPEC+ undershot the February targets more compared to January and it is believed the markets may lose from April about 3 billion bpd of the Russian oil. The American oil producers have reduced active oil rigs lately.
It is simultaneously learned Russia has destroyed a fuel storage site near Kyiv with cruise missiles. The strike has been confirmed by Ukraine and no threat has been reported of fire outside the depot.
The Russian forces have destroyed more than 1,580 tanks, over 260 droves and plenty of armored vehicles in Ukraine. Thousands of people have been killed in the military operation and over 10 million have been displaced.
The Western allies have imposed a ban on the import of Russian oil and gas and simultaneously the Russian banks have been removed from the international SWIFT payment systems.
Russia has offered India oil at a discounted price. The Narendra Modi government has accepted it and payments of oil imports are being made in USD.