Crude oil climbs to 5-week highs amidst intensified Ukraine, Libya crisis
Crude oil futures rose to the highest level in five weeks on Monday as heightened tensions over unrest in eastern Ukraine fuelled concerns over potential supply disruptions.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil futures for delivery in May were up 0.65% to $104.42 a barrel in the Globex electronic session.
Heightened geopolitical risk continued to underpin oil prices as tensions between Russia and Ukraine mounted after a deadline set by Ukraine for pro-Russian separatists to leave government buildings they are occupying in eastern Ukraine expired on Monday.
The U.S. has indicated that it is prepared to impose more sanctions against Moscow if Russian encroachments in eastern Ukraine continue. Russia is the world’s biggest energy exporter.
Oil prices received an additional boost following delays in resuming oil exports from Libya.
Earlier this month government officials and rebels reached an agreement to re-open Zueitina and Hariga ports, but the country’s two largest ports of Ras Lanuf and Es-Sider remain closed.
Meanwhile, Libya's interim Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni resigned on Sunday, after just one month in office, following an attack on his family.
Brent oil for June delivery was up 0.78% to $108.24 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, while the spread between the Brent and U.S. crude contracts stood at $3.82.