Oil rebounds after 3-day loss, still at loss
Exacerbated by the Western sanctions on Russia over the war in Ukraine, oil makes some gains but is still at a loss compared to its state before the western sanctions on Moscow.
Crude prices rebounded on Friday for the first time in four days, still registering losses for a second week in a row after the United States and other oil-consuming countries announced a massive release of oil from their emergency reserves to mitigate a supply crunch caused by the sanctions on Russian energy supplies.
London-traded Brent, the global benchmark for crude oil, gained $2.20 (2.2%), reaching $102.78 per barrel following a cumulative loss of 7% over the three previous days. Brent's 1.5% dip this week after last week's 13.5% marked its worst performance since April 2020 when demand plummeted amid COVID-19 lockdowns, which paralyzed the global economy.
New York-traded US crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate, or WTI, settled up $2.23 (2.3%), selling at $98.26. WTI's 1% dip this week after last week's 13% also marked its worst weekly performance since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Crude prices slightly decreased for the third day in a row after the International Energy Agency said it was releasing 60 million barrels from its members' reserves into the open market, which would add to the announcement of the release of 180 million barrels made by the United States earlier.
The combined 240 million barrels would be added to the market over a six-month period, making for an inflow of 1.33 million barrels per day.
The measure would increase by more than three-fold the monthly increments of 400,000 barrels per day in output global oil producers under the OPEC+ have been doing.
Meanwhile, sanctions are delaying the delivery of some 3 million barrels per day of Russian oil exports, with some being denied altogether.
After the war in Ukraine started, the US and its allies have rolled out comprehensive sanctions, including restrictions on the Russian central bank, export control measures, SWIFT cutoff for select banks, and closure of airspace to all Russian flights. Many of their companies have suspended their Russian operations.