Shafaq News / Oil prices extended their rally on Thursday, with Brent rising above $118 a barrel as trade disruption and shipping issues from Russian sanctions over the Ukraine crisis sparked supply worries, while U.S. crude stocks fell to multi-year lows.
Brent crude futures rose as high as $118.22 a barrel, the highest since February 2013. The contract was at $116.60 a barrel, up $3.67, or 3.2%, by 0415 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude hit an 11-year high of $114.70 a barrel and was at $113.01 a barrel, up $2.41, or 2.2%.
The gains followed the latest round of U.S. sanctions on Russia's oil refining sector that raised concerns that Russian oil and gas exports could be targeted next.
So far, Washington has stopped short of targeting Russia's oil and gas exports as the Biden administration weighs the impacts on global oil markets and U.S. energy prices.
Australia's ANZ raised its short-term target for oil to $125 a barrel, adding that supply shortages could see further upside.
Russia is the world's No. 3 oil producer and the largest exporter of oil to global markets, according to the International Energy Agency. Russian crude and oil products exports reached 7.8 million barrels per day in December, the agency said.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies including Russia, known as OPEC+, decided to maintain an increase in output by 400,000 barrels per day in March despite the price surge, ignoring the Ukraine crisis during their talks and snubbing calls from consumers for more crude.