Oil Updates — Crude prices up again; banks halt credit for Rosneft-backed Indian refiner

Follow-ups -eshrag News:

RIYADH: Oil prices climbed on Tuesday as fears of a demand downturn in China eased after Shanghai relaxed some COVID-19 related restrictions, and OPEC warned it would be impossible to increase output enough to offset lost Russian supply.

Brent crude futures were up $1.72, or 1.75 percent, to $100.20 a barrel, and US West Texas Intermediate contracts were up $1.76, or 1.87 percent, to $96.05 a barrel at 0405 GMT. Both contracts had settled down around 4 percent on Monday.

Oil prices unexpectedly plummeted on Monday

On Monday, oil prices fell about 4 percent, with Brent crude tumbling below $100 a barrel on worries that the pandemic will cut demand in China and as IEA countries plan to release record volumes of oil from strategic stocks.

At one point in time, Brent crude was priced at $98.43 a barrel, while WTI contracts were at $94.51. 

Buying more Russian oil is not in India’s interest: Biden to Modi

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that buying more oil from Russia was not in India’s interest and could hamper the US response to the war in Ukraine, US officials said.

Starting an hour-long video call, US officials described the discussion as “warm” and “candid,” adding that Biden and Modi both publicly expressed growing alarm at the destruction inside Ukraine, especially in Bucha, where many civilians have been killed.

Biden stopped short of making a “concrete ask” of Modi on Monday, an official said, noting India has concerns about deepening ties between Russia and China.

But he told Modi that India’s position in the world would not be enhanced by relying on Russian energy sources, US officials said.

“The president conveyed very clearly that it is not in their interest to increase that,” said White House spokesperson Jen Psaki.

Banks stop credit for oil imports by Rosneft-owned Indian firm

India’s HDFC Bank and some foreign banks have stopped offering trade credit for oil imports to Nayara Energy, a Russian-backed refiner, and some suppliers are seeking payment upfront to avoid potential problems resulting from western sanctions against Moscow, four banking and industry sources told Reuters.

Nayara has not been sanctioned as part of the international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but Russian energy giant Rosneft, which owns 49 percent of the Indian refiner, has been.

To avoid the need for credit to fund overseas trade, the Mumbai-headquartered company is selling more of its refined fuels in India, two of the sources said.

US not pressurizing Japan

Japan has never felt any pressure from the United States to exit oil and gas projects on Russia’s Sakhalin island in which Japanese companies own stakes, the industry minister said on Tuesday.

“We intend to continue to hold the concessions in Sakhalin 1 and 2 projects as they are stable sources of long-term and inexpensive energy and are important to the lives of the Japanese citizens and business activities,” Koichi Hagiuda, Japan’s industry minister, told a news conference.

“I have never felt any pressure by the United States to withdraw from the Sakhalin projects,” Hagiuda said when asked about any US pressure.


(With inputs from Reuters) 


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