MARKET WATCH: Brent crude prices top $110/bbl on geopolitical tensions

In London, ICE Brent crude oil prices moved up this week, topping $110/bbl on Apr. 24 “amid rising geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine, declining refinery turnarounds, and North Sea field maintenance,” said Barclays analysts in an Apr. 25 Energy Market Outlook.

The June ICE contract for Brent crude delivery increased $1.22, closing at $110.33/bbl on Apr. 24. The July contract, meanwhile, was up $1.11 to close at $109.95/bbl.

The ICE gas oil contract for May, meanwhile, climbed $8.50 to $926.50/tonne.

“If the conflict between the countries escalates, increased fuel demand for military use and heightened risk of disruption will likely continue to strengthen global oil prices,” the analysts said, adding, “Transneft warned of a disruption to oil product flows to Ukraine and Hungary (via Ukraine), due to a dispute over the pipeline’s ownership.”

On the other side of the Atlantic, the New York Mercantile Exchange June and July crude oil contract prices each gained 50¢ on Apr. 24, closing at $101.94/bbl and $101.35/bbl, respectively.

The May natural gas contract was down 2.5¢ to a rounded $4.71/MMbtu. The June contract lost 2.4¢ to a rounded $4.72/MMbtu.

Heating oil for May delivery rose 3.36¢ to a rounded $3.01/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for May delivery was virtually unchanged at a rounded $3.09/gal.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said for its basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $105.20 on Apr. 24, rising 21¢ from the previous day’s closing price.

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