RIYADH: Oil prices extended losses on Tuesday as the threat of further interest rate increases and continued Russian crude flows canceled out demand recovery expectations from China.
March Brent crude futures fell 5 cents or .06 percent to $84.85 per barrel by 08.15 a.m. Saudi time, while the more heavily traded April contracts fell by 32 cents or 0.38 percent to $84.18 a barrel.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures slipped 33 cents, or 0.44 percent, to $77.57 a barrel.
Russia bans oil exporters from adhering to Western price caps
The Russian government on Monday banned domestic oil exporters and customs bodies from adhering to Western-imposed price caps on Russian crude.
The measure was issued to help enforce President Vladimir Putin’s decree of Dec. 27 that prohibited the supply of crude oil and oil products from Feb. 1, for five months, to nations that abide by the caps.
The Group of Seven economies, the EU and Australia agreed on Dec. 5 to ban the use of Western-supplied maritime insurance, finance and brokering for seaborne Russian oil priced above $60 per barrel as part of Western sanctions on Moscow over its actions in Ukraine.
The new Russian act bans corporates and individuals from including oil price cap mechanisms in their contracts.
They also have to report to customs officials and the energy ministry any attempts to impose oil price caps.
In addition, customs bodies have to prevent goods from leaving Russia if they find such mechanisms have been applied.
CNOOC’s $3 billion UK portfolio sale halted on valuation gap
CNOOC Ltd., China’s top offshore oil and gas producer, has halted a planned sale of its UK North Sea portfolio, which could have been valued at as much as $3 billion, according to a Bloomberg News report.
Although initial offers failed to meet CNOOC’s expectations for the business, it could still resume a sale once conditions improve, the report added, citing people familiar with the matter.
CNOOC did not immediately respond to Reuter's request for comment.
Reuters has reported that CNOOC was preparing to exit its operations in Britain, Canada and the United States because of concerns in Beijing the assets could become subject to Western sanctions.
(With input from Reuters)