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Oil prices pop 4% as Russia launches attack on Ukraine; Brent hits $100 for first time since 2014 – CNBC

Oil well pump jacks operated by Chevron Corp. in San Ardo, California, U.S., on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Oil prices jumped 5% on news of Russia’s military attack on Ukraine.

U.S. crude futures surged 5.4% to trade at $97.04 per barrel on Thursday. Brent crude futures were up 5.66% at $102.32 per barrel, crossing the $100 level for the first time since 2014.

Natural gas prices popped 4.85%. Spot gold, traditionally seen as a safe-haven asset, climbed 1.87% last trading at $1,942.40.

Explosions were heard in Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, NBC News reported.

The United Nations Security Council met in New York late Wednesday as representatives from member states pleaded with Russian President Vladimir Putin not to attack Ukraine.

Matthew Smith, Kpler’s Americas lead oil analyst, said there may not be an immediate disruption to supply despite Russia’s attack.

Europe and Russia are very interconnected when it comes to energy, and each side is reliant on the other, he told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Thursday. The U.S. and the West will probably not impose sanctions specifically on energy flows, he added.

“We’re not likely to see the supply side of things interrupted, even though everything else is escalating,” he said.

Will [the U.S.] sanction Russian oil or gas? Because this would mean significant pain for even U.S. consumers.

Ellen Wald

Transversal Consulting

In addition to tight supplies, there’s also uncertainty about sanctions from the Biden administration, said Ellen Wald, president of Transversal Consulting.

“Will they sanction Russian oil or gas? Because this would mean significant pain for even U.S. consumers. The United States does import Russian oil. In fact, there’s oil headed to the U.S. as we speak,” Wald told “Street Signs Asia.”

“Now that we’ve actually got this military operation happening on the ground, you have the prospect of physical inability to shift oil out of certain areas, particularly the Black Sea. So, I think we’re now seeing that factoring into prices as well,” she said Thursday.

On escalations in Ukraine, Goldman Sachs said in a Wednesday report that the impact on energy prices should be limited. “While Europe imports a large share of its natural gas consumption from Russia, the US is a net exporter of natural gas and any spillover effects on US gas prices should be modest,” analysts at the Wall Street bank said.

“Our commodities strategists also expect only a modest impact on oil prices, though they see the risks as skewed to the upside because the oil market is already tight.”

— Correction: This story has been updated to accurately reflect that Ellen Wald said the military operation on the ground is factoring into the spike in oil prices.