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Brent futures increased today, supported by supply disruption worries amid the deteriorating relationship between Russia and the West over the Ukraine conflict.

Brent crude reached a seven-week high of $110.35 a barrel, while US oil gained by seven cents to $102.01 a barrel, reported Reuters.

In an attempt to recapture occupied territory, Ukrainian forces have launched an operation and killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels.

The US accused Russia of destabilisation in eastern Ukraine, and said it is prepared to impose new sanctions if the unrest continues in the region.

In turn, Moscow demanded Washington persuade the Ukrainian authorities to halt their military forces.

Further gains in oil prices were curtailed by a US government report, which showed a slight increase in the amount of oil that producers can quickly bring on-line.

"In addition, prices were weighed down by an improving economic outlook for the US."

Brent is also underpinned by continuing concerns in Libyan crude exports.

The Ras Lanuf and Es Sider oil terminals will remain closed unless the Tripoli government fulfills its part of a recent deal to end the oil blockade, Libyan rebels said.

In addition, prices were weighed down by an improving economic outlook for the US.

Data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that global surplus oil production capacity in March and April rose 200,000bpd to 2.1 million barrels per day.


Image: Oil prices continue to receive support from worsening Ukraine crisis. Photo: courtesy of hin255 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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