Stable oil after volatile trade, US says export ban not ruled out

A maze of crude oil pipes and valves is pictured during a Department of Energy tour of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Freeport, Texas, USA, June 9, 2016. REUTERS / Richard Carson

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  • Washington has not ruled out restricting exports to ease fuel prices
  • Beijing increases quarantine for COVID
  • German minister expects EU embargo on Russian oil “in days”
  • The API shows an increase in US crude stocks – market sources
  • POLL-Argo in the US, gasoline stocks fell, spirits increased

NEW YORK, May 24 (Reuters) – Oil prices remained flat on Tuesday after volatile trading as narrow supply concerns offset worries about a possible recession and China’s restrictions on COVID-19.

Prices became negative after US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said President Joe Biden did not rule out the possibility of using export restrictions to facilitate a spike in domestic fuel prices. read more

“Initially the assumption is that it is going to reduce product prices in the United States,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group.

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Crude Brent rose 14 cents to $ 113.56 a barrel. US crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell 52 cents to $ 109.77 a barrel.

Oil jumped to $ 139 a barrel in March, the highest level since 2008, following a Russian-led invasion of Ukraine that exacerbated supply concerns.

Prices were backed earlier in the session as the European Union moved closer to an agreement banning Russian oil imports. Such an embargo is likely to be agreed “within days,” Germany’s economy minister said on Monday. read more

Traveling during the upcoming US Memorial Day weekend is expected to be the busiest in the last two years, as more drivers take to the streets and prevent coronavirus lockdowns despite high pump prices. read more

U.S. crude stockpiles rose 567,000 barrels last week, according to market sources citing data from the American Petroleum Institute, which were released after the market was settled. Gasoline stocks fell 4.2 million barrels, while distillate stocks fell 949,000 barrels.

US crude oil and gasoline inventories are likely to have fallen last week, while spirits were in stock, according to an extensive Reuters poll in the wake of government figures released on Wednesday.

However, concerns about threats to the global economy, the main topic of this week’s meeting in Davos, also sparked fears about oil demand and strained prices. read more

Beijing is stepping up quarantine efforts to end the COVID-19 epidemic, and the lockdown in Shanghai is set to be lifted in just over a week. read more

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Report by Stephanie Kelly. Additional references by Alex Lawler, Yuka Obayashi and Isabel Kua. Editing by David Goodman, Marguerita Choy, Mark Porter and Richard Chang

Our role models: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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