Feb 14, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Volatile oil markets eye Russia-Ukraine crisis

An illustration of a oil barrel and a line graph
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Oil prices Monday morning have slipped off seven-year highs reached earlier in the session as markets brace for a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine that would likely send prices soaring above $100 per barrel.

Why it matters: The potential invasion — which U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says could happen "any day" — is putting upward pressure on already-high prices amid the demand recovery from COVID and tight supply.

  • A Russian move against Ukraine and the economic response could affect energy from Russia, Europe's largest source of natural gas and the world's third-largest oil producer.
  • Oil prices moving even higher would have spillover effects on U.S. gasoline prices, which are already a political headache for Democrats.

What they're saying: "Market participants are concerned that a conflict between Russia and the Ukraine could disrupt supply," said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo, per Reuters.

Where it stands: The global benchmark Brent crude is trading at $93.90 after going above $96 earlier in the session.

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