Crude Benchmarks Surge Amid Ukraine-Russia Tensions

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  • Dated Brent rises above $100/b
  • Crude futures later slip as US, Iran near agreement
  • West skeptical as Russia says some troops withdrawn from border

Crude price benchmarks climbed Feb. 16, with Dated Brent rising above $100/b, supported by continued tensions along the Ukrainian border, reports Platts.

S&P Global Platts assessed its Dated Brent benchmark at $100.795/b, up $3.14 on the day, and the highest since Sept. 4, 2014. American GulfCoast Select (AGS) was assessed at $94.85/b, up $1.37.

Crude futures slip

Despite Moscow’s claims it was withdrawing troops from the border, Western nations have continued to point out that the threat of conflict has yet to diminish, with NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg warning Feb. 16 that Russia continues to increase troop numbers on the border.

Crude futures fell following the assessments, after Iran’s top negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani said via Twitter that the US and Iran were nearing an agreement in ongoing nuclear talks.

At 2200 GMT, ICE Brent was trading at $91.79/b, down $1.49, while NYMEX WTI was trading at $90.62/b, down $1.45.

Ukraine-Russia tensions

The Russian Defense Ministry said Feb. 15 that it was pulling back some of its troops from the Ukrainian border after the completion of some planned military exercises. However, US President Joe Biden later said the troop movements were not verified.

An invasion remains distinctly possible,” Biden said during a press conference.

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s stated plans to ‘partially’ reduce troops near Ukraine Feb. 15, but uncertainty will persist as long as his intentions remain strategically ambiguous,” Paul Sheldon, chief geopolitical adviser at Platts Analytics, said. “In any case, we still do not expect a notable curtailment of oil exports, either from US sanctions or Russia voluntarily holding back volumes.”

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Source: Platts

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