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Oil Updates — Crude up; Sri Lanka to pay $72.6m to buy Russian oil; US renews Chevron’s Venezuela license
RIYADH: Oil prices rose on Friday, closing out the week with gains ahead of the US Memorial Day holiday weekend, the start of peak US demand season, and as European nations negotiate over whether to impose an outright ban on Russian crude oil.
Brent crude rose $2.03, or 1.7 percent, to settle at $119.43. US West Texas Intermediate crude rose 98 cents, or 0.9 percent, to settle at $115.07 a barrel.
For the week, Brent rose 6 percent while US WTI gained 1.5 percent.
Sri Lanka to pay $72.6 million for 90,000 tons of Russian oil
Sri Lanka will pay $72.6 million to buy a 90,000-ton shipment of Russian oil docked at Colombo’s port for weeks, its energy minister said on Saturday, as the island nation works to restart its only refinery and address a crippling energy crisis.
“I have reached out to multiple countries, including Russia, for support to import crude and other petroleum products,” Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera told reporters.
The 90,000-ton consignment was ordered through Dubai-based Coral Energy, Wijesekera said, adding that the payment would facilitate restarting the country’s sole refinery, which has been closed since March 25.
“The next shipment will also be ordered from the same company. Another consignment will be needed within the next two weeks to keep the refinery running continuously,” Wijesekera said.
Sri Lanka has struggled to pay for fuel, food and medicine imports due to a severe shortage of foreign currency. An unprecedented financial crisis has also forced the country to default on some external debt.
Like the rest of Asia, Sri Lanka wants to shift to long-term crude tenders to hedge against high crude spot prices, but dwindling foreign exchange reserves have hampered its ambitions, the power minister said on Saturday.
US renews Chevron’s Venezuela license under existing terms
The US Treasury Department on Friday renewed a license to oil producer Chevron Corp. for operating in US-sanctioned Venezuela through November under the same terms that authorizations granted to the company since 2020.
The license also authorizes oilfield service companies Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International to maintain assets in Venezuela.
(With input from Reuters)
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