Oil Futures Rise Sharply, Record Highest Settlement Since July 2014

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Tuesday as an escalation in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and a raft of sanctions imposed on Russia raised concerns about global oil supplies.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended higher by $7.69 or about 8% at $103.41 a barrel, the highest settlement since July 2014.

WTI futures climbed to a high of $106.78 a barrel, before paring some gains.

Brent crude futures rallied to $107.57 a barrel before giving up some gains.

Oil prices climbed higher despite an announcement by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that its members have agreed to release 60 million barrels from their emergency oil reserves to ease concerns over supply shortage.

“The situation in energy markets is very serious and demands our full attention,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol said in a statement. “Global energy security is under threat, putting the world economy at risk during a fragile stage of the recovery.”

According to reports, a 40-mile convoy of Russian tanks and other vehicles threatened Ukraine’s capital today.

Several Ukrainian soldiers were reportedly killed after Russian artillery hit a military base in Okhtyrka, a city between Kharkiv and Kyiv.

Russia’s economic isolation worsened, with Danish shipping giant Maersk announcing it would halt container shipping to and from Russia.

Major oil and gas companies, including BP and Shell, have announced plans to exit Russian operations and joint ventures.

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