The Daily Telegraph

Oil price at lowest since Ukraine invasion in setback for Kremlin

- By Tom Rees

OIL prices have tumbled back to levels last seen before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a blow to Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia as the heavyweigh­t producers try to prop up prices.

Brent crude – the UK benchmark oil price – slipped to its lowest level in almost seven months on fears of sinking global demand, extending a recent slump that will ease the pressure on motorists.

The latest fall came despite promises in recent days by major oil producing countries including Russia to boost output in an attempt to prop up prices.

Brent crude slipped as much as 1.8pc to $91.20 (£79.79) per barrel, levels last seen in the days leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent energy shock.

Oil has plunged by more than a quarter since June, reducing the revenue the Kremlin can make to fund its war from elevated energy prices.

After surging to almost $140 per barrel at the start of the war, crude has come under pressure as worries over recessions dent global demand.

The cost of living crisis is pushing Europe into recession while China’s zero-covid stance is also impacting demand from the world’s secondlarg­est economy.

The latest fall came despite efforts by producers to support prices, which are still historical­ly high. Oil cartel Opec and allies including Russia announced on Monday they aim to boost crude production by 100,000 barrels a day in a sign they plan to support prices at elevated levels.

Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, said the extra drilling is “relatively trivial compared to the nearly 100 million barrels of global daily production”. But he warned that prices will bounce back as it “sent a message that the oil exporting group is willing to defend the oil price”.

He said: “Oil demand will be bolstered globally by its increasing use to generate electricit­y, reflecting the rising price or reduced availabili­ty of gas and coal.”

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