Shafaq News / Oil prices jumped on Monday on escalating sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which in turn led President Vladimir Putin to put his country's nuclear deterrent on high alert.
Brent jumped back above $100 a barrel, initially surging more than $7, as the nuclear alert and bank payment constraints heightened fears that oil shipments from the world's second-largest producer could be disrupted. Russia accounts for about 10% of global oil supply.
At 0228 GMT Brent crude futures were up $3.95, or 4%, at $101.88, after hitting a high of $105.07 a barrel in early trade. Last week the benchmark hit a more than seven-year high of $105.79 after Russia's invasion of Ukraine began.
The April Brent contract expires on Monday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up $4.55, or 5%, at $96.14 a barrel, after hitting a high of $99.10 early in the day. WTI climbed to as much as $100.54 last week.
"Moves by the U.S. and Europe to remove certain Russian banks from the SWIFT system have raised fears of a disruption to supply of some sort in the near term," said ANZ commodity strategist Daniel Hynes.
"The risk to supply is the greatest we've seen for some time and it comes in a tight market," he said.
Putin raised the stakes on Sunday, ordering Russia's "deterrence forces" - which wield nuclear weapons - onto high alert, citing aggressive statements by NATO leaders and the range of economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the West. Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a "special operation."