Oil Vaults as Putin Mobilizes More Troops

Oil jumped more than 2% on Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization, escalating the war in Ukraine and raising concerns of tighter oil and gas supply.

Brent crude futures rose $2.17, or 2.4%, to $92.79 U.S. a barrel after falling $1.38 the previous day. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $86.05 a barrel, up $2.10, or 2.5%.

Putin said he had signed a decree on partial mobilization beginning on Wednesday, saying he was defending Russian territories and charging that the West wanted to destroy the country.

Experts say the escalation will lead to increased uncertainty over Russian energy supplies.

Oil soared and touched a multi-year high in March after the Ukraine war broke out.

European Union sanctions banning seaborne imports of Russian crude will come into force on Dec. 5.

The OPEC+ producer grouping – the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and associates including Russia – is now falling a record 3.58 million barrels per day short of its production targets, or about 3.5% of global demand. The shortfall highlights the underlying tightness of supply in the market.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude and fuel stocks rose by about 1 million barrels for the week ended Sept. 16, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures on Tuesday.

U.S. crude oil inventories were estimated to have risen last week by around 2.2 million barrels in the week to Sept. 16, according to an extended Reuters poll.

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