On Friday, oil prices remained elevated as fears of a disruption in Russian oil exports outweighed the potential revival of an Iranian nuclear deal.
Accordingly, the Brent crude futures edged up 1.80% or 2.00 points to $112.54 per barrel.
Then, the contracts linked to West Texas Intermediate increased 2.48%, or 2.67 points, to $110.28 per barrel.
Remarkably, crude oil hit its highest this week, with the WTI up more than 18.00% and Brent 13.00%.
In line with this, the prices have positioned themselves for their most robust weekly gains since the middle of 2020.
Correspondingly, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has fueled the sky-tall uptrend of the black liquid.
In the latest development, Russian troops attacked the Zaporizhzhia power plant in Ukraine, igniting tensions.
Then, the heavy sanctions on Moscow could disrupt shipments from Russia, the world’s key exporter of crude and oil products.
Subsequently, the trading activity for Russian crude has slowed. Buyers are hesitant to make purchases because of deterrents in the country.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden also comes under growing pressure to ban American imports of Russian oil.
On Thursday, oil benchmarks swung in a $10.00 range but settled lower for the first time in four sessions.
Eventually, markets slightly calmed as they focused on the revival of the Iran nuclear deal. They anticipated the potential agreement to boost Iranian oil exports and ease tight supplies.
Moreover, traders expect additional oil supplies from the coordinated release of 60.00 million barrels of reserves by developed nations.
In addition, Japan said today that it plans to release 7.50 million barrels of oil, a small fraction of its demand.
US Crude Oil Stocks Dwindle
Meanwhile, the US crude oil stocks skidded in the latest week, driving key storage hubs to multi-year lows.
The low inventory is due to the strong demand for refiners and other users paying higher prices to secure supplies.
The US Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil inventories posted at -2.60 million barrels in the week to February 25.
Meanwhile, analysts expected a 2.70 million-barrel increase. The record significantly declined from the previous result of 413.40 million barrels.
The key delivery point in Oklahoma saw its stock fall by 972,000 to 22.80 million barrels, its lowest since September 2018.
Similarly, the American Petroleum Institute reported a drop of -6.10 million barrels in crude oil inventory levels.
It came in lower than the forecasted 2.79 million and the 5.98 million last week, fuelling oil prices.