Brent crude declined from the highest closing price in a week on speculation that Crimea’s vote to split from Ukraine is unlikely to lead to a disruption in oil supplies.
Futures declined as much as 1 percent in London, after climbing on March 14. The U.S. and the European Union warned Russia not to annex Crimea after the referendum, setting the stage for sanctions against the world’s biggest energy producer. Libya’s production fell after protesters closed a pipeline carrying crude from Sharara, the country’s second-largest field, according to state-run National Oil Corp.
“The expectation is for no precipitate action by the West over Ukraine, and that the impact will play out over months and years, which is why the market hasn’t gone up,” Christopher Bellew, a senior broker at Jefferies Bache Ltd. in London, said by e-mail.
Brent for May settlement fell as much as $1.09 to $107.12 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, and traded for $107.124 as of 12:58 p.m. local time. The April contract expired on March 14. The European benchmark crude was at a premium of $9.27 to the West Texas Intermediate contract on ICE for the same month.
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