RIYADH: Oil prices eased on Tuesday as Hungary resisted an EU push for a ban on Russian oil imports, a move that would tighten global supply, and as investors took profits following a recent rally.
Brent crude futures fell 22 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $114.02 a barrel by 0327 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures slid 35 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $113.85 a barrel.
Both benchmarks had gained more than 2 percent on Monday, following a 4 percent jump on Friday.
Equinor, Exxon agree to expand Brazil oil operations
Equinor and Exxon Mobil Corp. have taken the first steps to expand an $8-billion oil development off Brazil’s coast, the Norwegian oil producer told Reuters.
The firms want to boost future production from the Bacalhau oil field, Equinor’s largest project outside of Norway with more than 1 billion barrels of oil, the company said.
A second drilling rig and a second floating production platform are being considered for the next phase along with a more than 100-mile-long gas pipeline, three people close to the discussions said.
For Exxon, Bacalhau could provide its first barrel of oil from offshore Brazil, one of its top growth prospects, and a new supply of oil from lower carbon operations. First oil is due in 2024 from the venture’s 220,000 barrels per day production vessel.
EU fails to persuade Hungary to sign up for Russian oil embargo
EU foreign ministers failed on Monday in their effort to pressure Hungary to lift its veto of a proposed oil embargo on Russia, with Lithuania saying the bloc was being “held hostage by one member state.”
The ban on crude imports proposed by the European Commission in early May would be its harshest sanction yet in response to Moscow’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine and includes carve-outs for EU states most dependent on Russian oil.
Germany, the EU’s biggest economy and a major buyer of Russian energy, said it wanted a deal to authorize the oil embargo, which it suggested could last for years.
As expected, the ministers failed to reach a deal on Monday, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said after the meeting, with ambassadors now charged to negotiate an agreement.
“Unhappily, it has not been possible to reach an agreement today,” Borrell told reporters, saying Hungary set out its argument based on economic, not political, concerns.
Some diplomats now point to a May 30-31 summit as the moment for agreement on a phased ban on Russian oil, probably over six months, with a longer transition period for Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
“I am confident that we will find agreement in the coming days,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said.
(With input from Reuters)