Oil prices trade higher, head for weekly decline

Oil prices traded higher Friday morning as an announced planned release of 240 million barrels from emergency stocks offset some concerns over reduced supplies from Russia caused by western sanctions.

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US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained $1.27, or 1.3%, to $97.27 a barrel.

Brent futures added $1.08, or 1.1% to $101.66 a barrel.

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Overall, oil was set to drop around 3% for the week.

Oil drills are pictured in the Kern River oil field in Bakersfield, California REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn

The emergency oil release comes to about 1 million barrels per day starting in May to the end of the year, according to Reuters.

Investors are also assessing the fundamentals in the oil market amid uncertainties over slowing demand in China, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The European Union’s consideration of a ban on Russian oil will limit any drop in oil prices in the near term.

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Congress voted overwhelmingly Thursday to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and ban the importation of its oil.

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