WTI Oil Falls to $85.26 Amid Fears of Russia Invading Ukraine
The price of Texas intermediate oil (WTI) opened this Friday with a drop of 0.34%, to 85.26 dollars a barrel, momentarily losing the barrier of 86 dollars that it had recovered for the first time in years.
At 9:05 a.m. local time (2:05 p.m. GMT) on the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex), WTI futures contracts for delivery in March — the new reference month — lost 29 cents compared to the previous close.
On Thursday, benchmark crude in the United States had dipped a slight 0.1% after reaching highs not seen since 2014, fueled by expectations that current production levels will fall short as demand recovers.
This Friday, many investors returned to bet on collecting accumulated profits, pushing prices down, also affected by an unexpected increase in oil inventories in the United States by 500,000 barrels last week, compared to the calculations of analysts who had anticipated a drop of 700,000, according to a survey by the firm S&P Global Platts.
The Ukraine factor
In recent days, prices had risen sharply, especially after the attack launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels against the United Arab Emirates - OPEC's third largest producer - and amid expectations that Russia would intervene militarily in Ukraine.
Markets had also been affected by the temporary suspension of service on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline between Iraq and Turkey, as a result of a fire, and news that the OPEC+ alliance is having difficulty meeting its production quotas due to unforeseen interruptions in the supply of some of its members, such as Libya or Kazakhstan. EFE