RIYADH: Oil prices dived more than $5 a barrel on Thursday as the United States is considering the release of up to 180 million barrels from its strategic petroleum reserve over several months to calm soaring crude prices.
Brent futures for May fell $5.47, or 4.8 percent, to $107.98 a barrel at 0317 GMT. The May contract expires on Thursday and the most actively traded June future was down $5.22 to $106.22.
US West Texas Intermediate futures for May delivery fell $6.06, or 5.6 percent, to $101.76 a barrel after earlier slipping to a low of $100.85.
China oil giant CNOOC plans $5.5 bn Shanghai listing
Amid rising geopolitical tensions, CNOOC Ltd, China’s top offshore oil and gas producer, plans to raise about 35 billion yuan ($5.5 billion) next month in what will likely be China’s 10th-biggest listing, to fund oil and gas extraction as Beijing prioritizes energy security.
State-owned CNOOC, which is blacklisted by Washington, said in a prospectus on Thursday it plans to sell 2.6 billion shares on April 12 and list thereafter on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
CNOOC is taking advantage of soaring global oil prices as Russia’s war on Ukraine pushes up already high inflation. CNOOC expects first-quarter profit to jump between 62 to 89 percent from a year earlier and its Hong Kong-listed shares hit two-year highs on Wednesday.
US warns India on Russian oil purchase
Meanwhile, the US has warned India about snapping up Russian oil through spot tenders since the war broke out on Feb. 24, taking advantage of deep discounts as other buyers back away.
A significant increase in Russian oil imports by India could expose New Delhi to a “great risk” as the United States prepares to step up enforcement of sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, a senior US administration official said.
The US official’s comment comes ahead of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s two-day visit to New Delhi and during the ongoing visit of US deputy national security adviser for economics Daleep Singh to India.
India has purchased at least 13 million barrels of Russian oil since Feb. 24, compared with nearly 16 million barrels in all of 2021.
IEA’s ministerial meet to discuss oil supply
The International Energy Agency has called an emergency ministerial meeting for Friday to discuss oil supply, a spokesperson for Australian Energy Minister Angus Taylor said on Thursday.
“The IEA has called an emergency meeting to be scheduled for Friday night Australian time,” the spokesperson said, adding that Taylor would be participating.
Meanwhile, New Zealand energy minister Megan Woods said the IEA meeting will decide on a collective oil release.
“The amount of the potential collective release has not been decided. That meeting will set a total volume, and per country allocations will follow,” said Woods.