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Oil update — Prices drop as supply concerns ease, US to provide EU with more LNG to reduce Russian dependency 

RIYADH: Oil prices inched lower on Friday with Brent crude oil reaching $118.75 per barrel while US benchmar kWest Texas Intermediate crude oil reached $111.98 per barrel at 09:00 a.m. Saudi time.

The oil prices slipped as supply concerns eased on expectations that crude exports would resume from Kazakhstan’s CPC terminal.

Kazakhstan said on Thursday it expects the CPC to resume shipping crude within a month, but added it may reroute some oil toward tankers on the Caspian Sea and pipelines going to Russia’s Samara and to China.

Supply concerns also eased as the EU remained split on whether to impose an oil embargo on Russia.

The US has committed to providing the EU with an additional 15 billion cubic meters of LNG this year, with both sides aiming to ramp up deliveries to 50 bcm per year over time.

US LNG will help reduce EU’s Russian gas dependency, EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday.

“We aim to reduce this dependency on Russian fossil fuels and get rid of it. This can only be achieved through… additional gas supplies, including LNG deliveries,” von der Leyen said at a joint news conference with US President Joe Biden.

“We as Europeans want to diversify away from Russia toward suppliers that we trust, that are our friends, that are reliable,” she said.

“Therefore, the US commitment to provide the European Union with additional at least 15 billion cubic meters of LNG this year is a big step in this direction because this will replace the LNG supply we currently receive from Russia,” she said.

Germany’s economy ministry wants to halve the country’s dependence on Russian oil by the summer and have no Russian hard coal imports by the autumn, Der Spiegel magazine said on Friday, citing a ministry memo.

OPEC sources said that officials believe a possible EU ban on oil from its partner Russia would hurt consumers and that the group has conveyed its concerns to Brussels.

While the US and Britain have targeted Russian oil, such an action poses a challenge for the EU, which relies on Russia for 40 percent of its gas.

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