Oil Prices Recover as U.S. Sanctions Rosneft Unit
Oil prices recovered this week primarily on the back of new sanctions imposed by the U.S. government on a trading subsidiary of Russian state-owned oil company PJSC Rosneft Oil Co., which has been accused by the Trump administration of supporting the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. The near-month contract for Brent Crude delivery touched a 3-week high, recovering to over US$59 per barrel on Thursday, while the WTI contract was trading around US$54 per barrel.
On Wednesday, President Maduro also declared an “energy emergency” as he announced the formation of a commission led by Vice President for the Economy Tareck El Aissami which has been tasked with restructuring the country’s oil industry and revamping state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PdVSA).
Prices got a further boost this week as Chinese authorities announced stimulus measures to support domestic businesses that have been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.