TASI starts the week in green: Opening bell

Oil Updates – Crude Up; Sri Lanka will pay $72.6 million to buy Russian oil; US renews Chevron license in Venezuela

RIYADH: Oil prices rose on Friday, ending the week with gains ahead of the US Memorial Day holiday weekend, the start of peak US demand season and as European nations trade on whether to impose an outright ban on Russian crude oil.

Brent crude rose $2.03, or 1.7%, to settle at $119.43. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 98 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $115.07 a barrel.

For the week, Brent rose 6% while US WTI gained 1.5%.

Sri Lanka to pay $72.6m for 90,000 tonnes of Russian oil

Sri Lanka will pay $72.6 million to buy a 90,000 tonne shipment of Russian oil that has been moored at the port of Colombo for weeks, its energy minister said on Saturday, as the island nation scrambles to restart its only refinery and facing a crippling energy crisis.

“I have reached out to several countries, including Russia, for help in importing crude oil and other petroleum products,” the energy and power minister told reporters. Kanchana Wijesekera.

The 90,000 tonne shipment was ordered through Dubai-based Coral Energy, Wijesekera said, adding that the payment would facilitate the restart of the country’s only refinery, which has been closed since March 25.

“The next shipment will also be ordered from the same company. Another shipment will be required within the next two weeks to keep the refinery running,” Wijesekera said.

Sri Lanka is struggling to pay for imports of fuel, food and medicine due to a severe shortage of foreign exchange. An unprecedented financial crisis also forced the country to default on part of its external debt.

Like the rest of Asia, Sri Lanka is keen to shift to long-term bidding to hedge against high crude spot prices, but dwindling foreign exchange reserves have hampered its ambitions, the Minister of Energy.

U.S. renews Chevron’s license in Venezuela under existing terms

The US Treasury Department on Friday renewed a license to oil producer Chevron Corp. to operate in U.S.-sanctioned Venezuela through November under the same terms as the authorizations granted to the company since 2020.

The license also allows oil service companies Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International to maintain assets in Venezuela.

(Contributed by Reuters)

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