Oil Rises to Near $89 on Russia-Ukraine Tension

By Reuters
January 26, 2022 Updated: January 26, 2022

LONDON—Oil rose to around $89 a barrel on Wednesday, within sight of a seven-year high, supported by tight supply and geopolitical tensions in Europe and the Middle East that raise concerns about further disruption.

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he would consider personal sanctions on President Vladimir Putin if Russia invades Ukraine. On Monday, Yemen’s Houthi movement launched a missile attack on a United Arab Emirates base.

“Anxiety over potential supply disruptions in the Middle East and Russia is providing bullish fodder for the oil market,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

Brent crude rose 73 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $88.93 at 1200 GMT. On Jan. 20 it reached $89.50, the highest since October 2014. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 48 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $86.08.

“The market downside is limited due to heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine and the threat to infrastructure in the UAE,” said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at Nissan Securities.

Investors across the markets are also awaiting the update at 19000 GMT from the U.S. Federal Reserve. The Fed is expected to signal plans to raise interest rates in March as it focuses on fighting inflation.

In another key development, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, known as OPEC+, meets on Feb. 2 to consider another output increase.

OPEC+ has been gradually unwinding 2020’s record output cuts, raising its monthly target by 400,000 barrels per day, though the actual increase in supply has fallen short of that as some countries struggle to raise production.

By Alex Lawler