News Column

Oil higher as Ukraine rebels escalate conflict

May 26, 2014

The Associated Press



The price of oil edged higher Tuesday on worries over potential supply disruptions after pro-Russian rebels escalated the Ukrainian conflict by occupying a major airport, just hours after a billionaire businessman won Ukraine's presidential election.

Prices had fallen after Ukraine's president-elect, Petro Poroshenko, said Monday he wanted talks with Moscow on ending the insurgency in the country's east.

Benchmark crude for July delivery was up 5 cents to $104.40 a barrel at 0625 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Due to a U.S. public holiday, the contract last settled on Friday, when it closed at $104.35.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, gained 41 cents to $110.73 on the ICE exchange in London.

Ukraine is a key conduit for Russian gas deliveries to Europe. A proposed solution to a dispute over Ukrainian natural gas debts to Moscow raised hopes that a supply cutoff would be averted. Russia's acceptance of Poroshenko's victory was also regarded as a sign of easing tensions.

The resurgence of fighting, as the government in Kiev responded with an airstrike to the rebels' occupation of the airport in Donetsk, a city of about 1 million in eastern Ukraine, underscored the uncertainties that remain.

In other energy futures trading in New York.

Wholesale gasoline was down 0.2 cent at $3.005 a gallon.

Natural gas shed 1.5 cents to $4.39 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Heating oil gained 1 cent to $2.965 a gallon.


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Source: Associated Press


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