Oil price hits 7-year high at $90/barrel amid tensions in Ukraine, Yemen

Oil hit $90 a barrel for the first time in more than seven years as mounting tensions in Europe and the Middle East raised supply concerns.

Brent crude rose as high as $90.47 – a level last seen in October 2014. US president Joe Biden and other Western leaders have threatened to impose crippling sanctions on Moscow after Russia began building up troops on the Ukrainian border.

The Middle East is on edge after Yemen’s Houthi movement launched missiles at a United Arab Emirates base.

In an already tight market, the US is more than 1m barrels short of its record level of daily output, and major oil producer network OPEC+ is having trouble meeting monthly production targets.

OPEC+ is expected to meet February 2 to consider another output rise.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is expected to lift the official selling prices of all its crude grades sold in Asia next month on the back of solid demand and refining margins, refining sources told a Reuters survey this week.

Saudi Arabia usually sets the official selling prices (OSPs) of its crude for the following month around the fifth of each month, typically after the monthly OPEC+ meeting, which is scheduled for February 2.

The Kingdom is expected to increase all its prices for Asia for March, seven refining sources told Reuters in a flash survey on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The expected price hike would follow a cut for the February prices announced in early January, when Saudi Arabia lowered its OSPs to the lowest premium to regional benchmarks in three months, amid the rapid spread of Omicron and higher OPEC+ supply.