Oil Futures Settle Sharply Higher On Supply Concerns

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Friday, lifting the most active crude futures contracts to a buoyant close, as fears of supply shortage outweighed concerns about a slowdown in global economic growth.

Gasoline prices soared to record highs today, contributing significantly to the sharp jump in crude oil prices.

West Texas International Crude oil futures for June ended higher by $4.36 or about 4.1% at $110.49 a barrel.

Brent crude futures were up $4.03 or 3.75% at $111.48 a barrel a little while ago.

Worries about supply in global oil markets have increased following a reduction in flows of Russian refined products such as diesel, fuel oil and naptha.

Following Russia's move to impose sanctions on more than 30 EU, US and Singaporean energy companies, the necessity to secure alternative gas supplies has now become the top priority.

Russia has also threatened retaliation against Finland after Finnish leaders said the northern European nation must apply to join NATO "without delay."

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday that tightening sanctions on Russia's oil exports, including a planned European Union embargo, would take a heavy toll on the nation's oil industry and could set its crude oil output back by nearly two decades.

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