Oil prices fluctuated during the week ending May 13, as ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in China, one of the world's largest oil consumers, continue to curtail fuel demand while the impending EU ban on Russian crude jeopardizes stable the global demand and supply balance.
International benchmark Brent crude opened trading day at $112.94 on Monday but dropped to $105.94 at closing as EU countries failed to come to a unanimous understanding of how to enact a ban on Russian crude exports.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) ended the day at $103.09 on Monday after starting at $110.43.
The G7 group of wealthy nations decided on Sunday to gradually reduce their reliance on Russian energy to cripple the Russian oil trade but not all EU countries support a ban.
Bulgaria said Sunday it would not support the bloc's new set of sanctions against Russia unless it received an exemption. The move came after Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, all heavily reliant on Russian oil, requested a waiver from the planned EU embargo.
Tuesday saw oil prices retreat further, dropping to the lowest level of the past two weeks with China's COVID-19 policy fueling demand concerns, coupled with a rise in the US dollar index, which is making dollar-priced oil more expensive for buyers.
China's export growth dipped to single digits, the slowest in two years, as the country tightened its controls to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Brent closed trade on Tuesday at $102.46, while WTI cost $99.76 a barrel.
Oil prices increased on Wednesday over supply uncertainties with the EU plan to ban Russian oil and a warning from oil-producing countries of serious supply concerns once demand fully recovers from the COVID-19 slump.
Brent reached $107.51 at closing and WTI climbed to $105.71 at the end of trading on Wednesday.
Oil prices slightly retreated on Thursday amid the economic slowdown and global recession fears, easing pressure on oil demand. However, ongoing talks among EU members to outline the details of the proposed ban kept prices from falling further.
Oil prices rose on Friday triggered by global supply concerns due to the Russia-Ukraine war and the looming ban on Russian crude by the EU.
Brent crude was trading at $109.70 per barrel at 1233 GMT for a 2.09% increase after closing the previous session at $107.45 a barrel.
WTI was at $108.43 per barrel at the same time for a 2.17% raise after the previous session closed at $106.13 a barrel.
By Zeynep Beyza Kilic