Crude oil surged past $110 a barrel on Wednesday – a near eight-year high – with investors growing increasingly fearful about the Ukraine war’s impact on global energy supplies and the economic recovery.
The rise came despite a global agreement to release 60 million barrels of crude reserves to try to rein in price increases.
“We think that there is some room still for oil prices to continue to climb,” Carlos Casanova, senior Asia economist at UBP in Hong Kong, said.
“So much of it depends upon political factors and making sure that some of the supply coming out of Russia is offset with not just more oil from US shale, but also [from] Iran.”
Exxon Mobil said on Tuesday that it will exit Russia operations, including oil production fields, following similar decisions by British energy giants BP and Shell and Norway’s Equinor.
Exxon’s announcement comes as the price of oil continues to climb. On Wednesday morning, global benchmark Brent crude rose more than 5.8% to $111.09, its highest since early July 2014.
US West Texas Intermediate crude also jumped nearly 6% to $109.29, its highest since September 2013.
Prices of many crucial commodities including metals and grains have soared. The price of global staple wheat is sitting at a 14-year high, having risen 30% in the past month.
But the main source of unease on trading floors is crude, which has rocketed since Russia began preparing to invade.
Incoming sanctions have fuelled worries that exports will be cut off from Russia, the world’s third-biggest oil producer.
• AFP and Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell