Oil Updates – Crude Oil Slumps, Climate Activists Arrested, Mexico Halts Gasoline Subsidy
RIYADH: Oil stabilized on Friday as IEA members agreed to join in the biggest release of oil reserves ever in the United States.
Benchmarks for Brent and U.S. crude stabilized at around 13% in their biggest weekly falls in two years after U.S. President Joe Biden announced the release on Thursday.
Brent crude futures were down 32 cents, or 0.3%, at $104.39 a barrel.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell $1.01, or 1%, to $99.27.
Climate activists arrested in UK
British police said they arrested 83 people in Essex, east London, for blockading oil terminals.
Hundreds of activists from the groups Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil began blockading oil terminals across Britain on Friday, some climbing on tankers as part of their campaign to force the government to speed up decarbonisation efforts.
Essex Police said in a statement on Saturday that 63 people were arrested on Friday following protests at three locations. He said another 20 people were arrested on Saturday.
Police said the people were arrested on suspicion of various offences.
Mexico suspends gas subsidy for US cross-border drivers
On Saturday, Mexico, which has subsidized gasoline to dampen price spikes, said the policy would not apply in the U.S. border region this week, citing shortages as more Americans head south to fill their tanks.
The April 2-8 grant suspension covers cities in the border states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Sonora and Baja California, including Tijuana, one of the busiest border crossings in the world.
In a statement, Mexico’s finance ministry said there was a shortage of gasoline in the region “due to an imbalance between supply and demand.”
“In the United States, gasoline prices are higher than in Mexico, and citizens of this country cross the border to get supplies,” the finance ministry said.
Damage in Belgorod will disrupt supply chain
British military intelligence said the destruction of several oil tanks at a depot in the Russian town of Belgorod, near the Ukrainian border, is likely to add short-term pressure to Russia’s already strained supply chains.
“Supplies for Russian forces encircling Kharkiv, 60km from Belgorod, could be particularly affected,” the UK MoD said on Twitter.
Exxon Mobil’s fourth offshore oil project in Guyana obtains permit
On Friday, Exon Mobil Corp received approval to begin work on its fourth offshore oil drilling project in Guyana from the South American country’s Environmental Protection Agency.
The permit prohibits routine flaring and venting of natural gas during operations. It obliges Exxon to keep an underwater device capable of shutting down a well in the event of an accident, according to a press release from the Guyana EPA.
(With contributions from Reuters)