© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A worker inspects a tank at the Nahr Bin Umar oil field, north of Basra, Iraq March 22, 2022. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani
By Stephanie Kelly
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil futures are set to open the door to Asian trade on Sunday, after both and the benchmark posted their biggest weekly declines in two years last week as the U.S. announced the biggest-ever price drop from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Both contracts are down about 13% for the week. On Thursday, US President Joe Biden announced the release of 1 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) in the six months from May, which would amount to 180 million barrels.
On Friday, member countries of the International Energy Agency committed to another coordinated oil release during an extraordinary meeting, according to Japan’s Industry Ministry.
However, “when you look at the release from the SPR, there are still a lot of questions about how they’re going to get all that oil out of there,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group. “We’ll have to wait and see.”
Trade has been volatile since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.
Energy markets around the world simmered and raised concerns about global supply as sanctions imposed on Russia over the invasion disrupted oil supplies and pushed oil prices up to nearly $140 a barrel. highest in about 14 years.
Some discount news over the weekend could help keep prices down.
Russia’s state energy giant Gazprom (MCX:) said on Sunday it is continuing to supply Europe through Ukraine at the request of European consumers.
Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) welcomed the announcement of a UN-brokered ceasefire in Yemen and halted all military activities there and on the border. Saudi Arabia-Yemen, the UAE’s state news agency WAM reported on Saturday. The Iran-aligned Houthi group, which is fighting a coalition including the UAE in Yemen, also welcomed the truce.
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