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Oil prices surge as some EU mull Russian oil ban

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Global crude oil prices have surged as some European Union members are weighing imposing an oil embargo on Russia.

Concerns over supply disruption in the wake of recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities also affected the prices.

Brent futures surged $3.18, or 2.75%, to settle at $118.80 a barrel on the Intercontinental Exchange at 0440 GMT, reported Reuters.

The front-month West Texas Intermediate futures increased $2.20, or 1.96%, to $114.32 a barrel on New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

European Union foreign ministers are mulling to join the US in imposing sanctions on Russian oil in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

However, Germany and some other countries are of the view that the bloc is too reliant on Russian resources.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia analysts was cited by the news agency as saying in a note: “The proposed ban is still some way from becoming policy because a significant number of EU nations oppose the ban.

“Still, the fact that the ban is being discussed at all is a significant shift.”

Over the weekend, the Iranian-aligned Houthis reportedly attacked a petroleum products distribution terminal in the southern Jizan region, a natural gas plant and the Yasref refinery in the Red Sea port of Yanbu, with missiles and drones, reported Reuters.

As a result, production output at the refinery has been temporary declined.

Following the attacks, Saudi Arabia said it would not be responsible for global oil supply disruptions.

In a separate development, the UK government is considering to temporarily nationalise British retail supply arm of Russian majority state-owned energy firm Gazprom PJSC, reported Bloomberg News.

According to a person familiar with the matter, the UK will take Gazprom Marketing & Trading Retail into special administration regime in case the firm fails to ensure continued supply.

The retail unit, which trades as Gazprom Energy, supplied the UK with over a fifth of commercial gas volume in 2020.

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2022-03-22 01:34:51

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