Oil prices fell Monday morning – but it may not last

New COVID lockdowns in China and diplomatic talks between Russia and Ukraine are behind the dip in crude prices.

By Alexandra HartMarch 14, 2022 7:19 am, ,

It’s been a chaotic couple of weeks for the energy market after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent prices into disarray. Last Tuesday, President Biden banned the import of Russian oil, liquefied Natural gas, and coal — pushing oil and gas prices even higher.

But after a stint of volatility for oil, prices have dipped somewhat as of Monday morning. American benchmark West Texas Intermediate Crude was down about 6%, trading at $103 per barrel.

Still, cooling of prices doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper gas – at least not yet, as uncertainty around the war remains.

Energy expert Matt Smith, lead oil analyst for the Americas at Keplr, speaks with the Standard about the latest developments in the market. Listen to the interview above or read the highlights below.

Highlights from this segment:

– COVID lockdowns in China, and other downward pressures on demand are keeping energy prices lower than they otherwise would be, right now.

– OPEC has been increasing oil production at a rate of 400,000 barrels per month. That’s likely to continue. The organization has been unwilling to isolate Russia, or take other political actions.

– Some buyers and shippers around the world are engaging in “self-sanctioning” – choosing not to buy or move crude from Russia right now.

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