Brent Supported By Conflict Between Russia And The West
Brent crude oil remained above $107 to start the week with tension between the West and Russia keeping prices afloat. The commodity traded at $107.88, near a two week high, at 5:11 GMT on Monday morning.
Over the weekend, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in order to discuss how to deescalate the situation in Ukraine.
According to CNBC, Kerry made it clear that Moscow would need to pull back on the number of Russian troops stationed at Ukraine's borders in order to begin thawing its icy relationship with the West.
See also: Barron's Recap - Bad News For Putin
Now, Western leaders are considering adding to the existing sanctions in order to further isolate Russia economically. Policy makers would like to cut down on the nation's vital industries such as oil and gas exports; but with most of Europe dependent on the nation's energy resources it may be difficult.
Supply disruptions in Libya also supported Brent prices as the nation's oil export capacity has been depressed to less than half its normal capacity for months. With rebel groups controlling most of the nation's largest oilfields and no resolution in sight, most expect the nation's low output to continue.
However, increased supply from both Iraq and Iran kept a ceiling over Brent prices as they were able to offset much of the disruption in Africa. Higher exports from the US also helped ease supply tension after the nation reported that crude exports from the US were at a 15 year high in January.
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