Oil prices rose today with renewed tension in Ukraine, where relations between Russia and the West further worsened, fuelling fears over oil supplies from the world’s top oil producer Russia.
Brent crude rose by four cents to $108.08 a barrel, while US oil went up by ten cents to settle at $100.36, reported Reuters.
Crude prices increased after the European Union (EU) laid the groundwork for possible sanctions against Russian companies, including major energy firms.
Pressure also mounted after pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine ignored a public call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone a referendum on self-rule, declaring they would proceed on Sunday.
Limited supplies from Libya also supported the rise in oil prices, as the government deal to resume major oil ports controlled by rebels may be discarded following the appointment of a new Islamist-backed prime minister, which is eroding support for the accord.
Currently, the Libyan Government is confident of implementing an agreement with the rebels occupying the eastern ports of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, and hopes the export terminals will reopen soon.
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Investors are eagerly monitoring progress in the talks over Iran’s nuclear programme.
Iran and six world powers are deeply divided over Tehran’s nuclear programme, and are yet to arrive on a consensus over the future of Iranian atomic capabilities.
The two days of expert-level talks in New York were a prelude to next week’s political-level negotiations in the Austrian capital Vienna.
Image: Opposition to new Libyan Prime Minister may scupper oil port deal. Photo: courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/Victor Habbick.