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Energy Summary for May 4, 2022

2022-05-04 20:40 ET - Market Summary

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by Stockwatch Business Reporter

West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery added $5.40 to $107.81 on the New York Merc, while Brent for July added $5.17 to $110.14 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $12.57 to WTI, down from a discount of $12.52. Natural gas for June added 47 cents to $8.42, flying past $8 for the first time since 2008. The TSX energy index added 5.99 points to close at 256.01.

Oil prices shot up as the European Union, proposing its sixth round of sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, finally took direct aim at Russia's energy industry. "We now propose a ban on Russian oil," announced European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen this morning. Specifically, the bloc is proposing to phase out oil imports "in an orderly fashion" over the next six months, and to eliminate imports of refined oil products by the end of the year.

The EU has been reluctant to take this step so far, in light of some of its member countries' heavy reliance on Russian energy. The mood changed after former holdout Germany signalled its openness to an oil embargo earlier this week. Several other countries remain resistant, including Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, to which the EU is reportedly offering longer transition periods to try to win their support. The proposal needs unanimous agreement. Talks will continue tomorrow.

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