© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A worker walks past a pump jack on an oil field owned by Bashneft company near the village of Nikolo-Berezovka, northwest from Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia, January 28, 2015. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin
By Rowena Edwards
LONDON (Reuters) -Oil prices climbed on Tuesday as Shanghai’s relaxation of some COVID-19 restrictions eased concerns about Chinese demand and as OPEC warned it would be impossible to replace potential supply losses from Russia.
Brent crude futures rose by $5.51, or 5.6%, to $103.99 a barrel by 1343 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate was up $5.12, or 5.4%, at $99.41. Both contracts lost about 4% on Monday.
Shanghai said on Monday that more than 7,000 residential units had been classified as lower-risk areas after reporting no new infections for 14 days and districts have since been announcing which compounds can be opened up.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), meanwhile, warned that it would be impossible to replace 7 million barrels per day (bpd) of Russian oil and other liquids exports lost in the event of sanctions or voluntary actions.
The European Union has yet to agree any embargo on Russian oil, but some foreign ministers said the option is on the table.
“The oil market is still vulnerable to a major shock if Russian energy is sanctioned, and that risk remains on the table,” wrote Edward Moya, a senior market analyst with OANDA.
OPEC on Tuesday lowered its Russian liquids production forecast by 530,000 barrels per day (bpd) for 2022, but also cut its forecast for growth in world oil demand, citing the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, rising inflation as crude prices soar and the resurgence of the Omicron coronavirus variant in China.
Indian Oil Corp (IOC), which bought Russian Urals in previous tenders, has removed the grade from its latest crude tender. U.S. President Joe Biden told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi late on Monday that buying more oil from Russia was not in India’s interest.
IEA member nations are planning to release 240 million barrels over the next six months from May in an effort to calm the market.
While the release will ease immediate tightness, analysts suggested it will not solve the structural deficit caused by underinvestment and stocks will need to be replenished.
A preliminary Reuters poll showed U.S. crude oil inventories are likely to have risen by 1.4 million barrels in the week to April 8 after declining for three consecutive weeks.
The poll was conducted ahead of a report from the American Petroleum Institute due at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT) on Tuesday.
Oil rises on OPEC warning and easing of Shanghai COVID curbs