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Oil Updates – Crude falls, climate activists arrested, Mexico suspends gasoline subsidy

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RIYADH: Oil settled lower on Friday as members of the IEA agreed to join in the largest-ever U.S. oil reserves release.

Both Brent and U.S. crude benchmarks settled down around 13 percent in their most significant 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 percent, at $104.39 a barrel.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell $1.01, or 1 percent, to $99.27.

Russia demolishes Kremenchug oil refinery

Ukraine’s Kremenchug oil refinery has been completely destroyed after a Russian attack, Dmytro Lunin, governor of the Poltava region, said on television on Sunday.

“The fire at the refinery has been extinguished but the facility has been completely destroyed and can no longer function,” Lunin said.

Russia’s defense ministry said on Saturday that sea and air missiles had destroyed an oil refinery and three fuel storage units in the Odesa region, Interfax reported.

Climate activists nabbed in UK

British police said they had arrested 83 people in Essex, east of London, for blockading oil terminals.

Hundreds of activists from groups Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil started blocking oil terminals across Britain on Friday, with some climbing on top of oil tankers as part of their campaign to force the government to speed decarbonization efforts.

Essex police said in a statement on Saturday that 63 people were arrested on Friday following protests at three locations. It said a further 20 were arrested on Saturday.

The police said the people were arrested on suspicion of various offenses.

Mexico suspends gasoline subsidy for US cross-border drivers

On Saturday, Mexico, which has been subsidizing gasoline to soften price spikes, said the policy would not apply in the U.S. border region this week, citing shortages as more Americans drive south to fill their tanks.

The suspension of the subsidy from April 2-8 covers cities in the border states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Sonora and Baja California, including Tijuana, one of the world’s busiest border crossings.

In a statement, Mexico’s finance ministry said that there was a gasoline shortage in the area “from an imbalance between supply and demand.”

“In the United States, gasoline prices are higher than in Mexico, and citizens of that country across the border to stock up,” the finance ministry said.

Damage in Belgorod to disrupt logistics chain

British military intelligence said the destruction of several oil tanks at a depot in the Russian city of Belgorod, close to the Ukrainian border, will likely add short-term strain to Russia’s already stretched logistics chains.

“Supplies to Russian forces encircling Kharkiv, 60 km from Belgorod, may be particularly affected,” Britain’s Ministry of Defense said on Twitter.

Exxon Mobil’s fourth Guyana offshore oil project gets 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 operation. It requires Exxon to keep an undersea device that can close off a well in the event of an accident, according to a statement by the Guyana EPA.

 

(With inputs from Reuters)

 

 

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