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Oil prices fell today with easing of concerns about possible escalation of the crisis in Ukraine, which allayed fear over Russian oil supplies.

Brent crude dropped by $0.02 to $106.77 a barrel, while US oil was down by $0.25 to $99.45, reported Reuters.

Crude prices dropped after Russian President Vladimir Putin, while approving plans to make Crimea part of Russia, said he did not want to split Ukraine.

Putin has signed an order approving a draft treaty on adopting the Republic of Crimea into the Russian Federation.

Oil prices were under pressure after the American Petroleum Institute data showed that US crude inventories rose by 5.9 million barrels in the week ending 14 March, compared with 6.2 million barrels in the week ending 7 March.

"Putin has signed an order approving a draft treaty on adopting the Republic of Crimea into the Russian Federation."

Traders are waiting for the US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) weekly inventory report, which is scheduled for release later today. A rise in commercial crude inventories is expected, which would weigh on oil prices.

Crude prices are expected to decline further as Iran exported oil at levels exceeding those allowed under Western sanctions for a fourth straight month in February.

Iran’s sales have increased after a temporary deal, which eased some of the sanctions, while some of its client countries bought more than one barrel a day.

Investors are eyeing the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) two-day meeting, which is set to end later today, where policymakers may continue the Fed’s earlier decision to cut its bond-buying pace by another $10bn a month.


Image: Investors still have an eye on potential sanctions against Russia. Photo: courtesy of m_bartosch.

Energy