By Zeynep Beyza Kilic
ANKARA (AA) – Oil prices slipped at the end of the week, despite hitting the highest level since 2014 on Wednesday amid supply chain disruptions and geopolitical tensions.
International benchmark Brent crude started trading at $86.15 per barrel on Monday, and ended the session at $86.48 with a 0.38% rise.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $83.84 per barrel at Monday’s opening.
Prices increased on Monday over tight supply and investor hopes that the coronavirus omicron variant would not push global demand lower.
On Tuesday, oil prices increased due to supply worries after an attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on oil facilities in Abu Dhabi and supply disruptions stemming from some OPEC+ countries’ inability to meet monthly quotas.
Late on Tuesday, a key pipeline carrying crude oil from northern Iraq for export from Turkiye’s southern port of Ceyhan was knocked offline by an explosion.
Persistent geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and Russia pushed oil prices to their highest level in the past seven years on Wednesday.
Brent hit $89.17 and WTI reached $87.91 on the day.
As tensions continued in the Middle East, another threat for supply chains arose when Russia, Ukraine and NATO stepped up military exercises, with Kyiv openly accusing Moscow of planning an invasion.
After being on the rise for most of the week, oil prices were down on Friday, erasing weekly gains.
The drop came after an unexpected jump in gasoline stockpiles in the US.
Gasoline inventories in the country increased by 5.9 million barrels during the week ending Jan. 14, the highest figure since February 2021.
Crude oil inventories rose by 500,000 barrels to 413.9 million barrels, far above the market expectation of a 1.4 million-barrel drop.
Brent crude was trading at $87.09 per barrel at 1250GMT for a 1.45% decrease, after closing the previous session at $88.38 a barrel.
WTI slipped by 3.11% to $84.19 per barrel after ending the previous session at $86.90 a barrel.