Oil prices rebounded on Wednesday, with the market awaiting the outcome of talks between Ukraine and Russia and despite Iranian oil on the global agenda once again after the exclusion of Russia-Iran economic ties from Western sanctions on Moscow, and demand fears after the re-emergence of COVID-19 in China.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $102.94 per barrel at 0647 GMT for a 3% gain after closing the previous session at $99.91 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $98.69 per barrel at the same time for a 2.3% increase after the previous session closed at $96.44 a barrel.
Prices were volatile during the previous session as investors await the conclusion to talks between Ukraine and Russia.
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged for patience from Ukrainians during the negotiations on establishing a cease-fire and ending the war.
“It is important. It is difficult, but important, because any war ends in an agreement. Meetings continue,” Zelenskyy said in his daily video address on Telegram.
-Supply worries and search for alternative resources continue
After Russia’s economy was targeted with sanctions by several Western countries, including the US and UK, oil came under supply pressure, pushing prices to the highest levels since 2008.
In search of alternative oil supplies, Iran and Venezuela have been the focus of many consuming countries despite both being the target of US sanctions.
Talks to remove Iran’s oil export ban, which started in April 2021, showed progress until Russia insisted last week that its trade with Iran should be exempt from US sanctions once an agreement is signed.
On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia had received written guarantees to protect its cooperation with Iran against the recent US and EU sanctions, noting that the guarantees are included in the text of the agreement.
Alleviating demand, China's daily virus figures have surged to a two-year high amid concerns that the world's second-largest economy could see a slowdown in its recovery.
The Chinese National Health Commission said 3,507 new locally spread cases had been identified in the latest 24-hour period, up from 1,337 a day earlier.
By Sibel Morrow