The prices of crude oil pushed closer to $100 a barrel on Tuesday, the highest since 2014, on fears escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine could lead to disruption in supplies.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up $3.38, or 3.5 per cent, to $98.77 at 1000 GMT, having earlier reached $99.50, the highest since September 2014.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude jumped $4.40, or 4.8 per cent, to $95.47, having earlier reached $96, also the highest since 2014.
This development comes after Moscow ordered troops into two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.
Late Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin in a fiery speech announced his signing of a decree on the deployment of Russian troops to “keep the peace” in the two breakaway regions.
Following the decrees, the United States and its European allies are poised to announce new sanctions against Russia after President Vladimir Putin formally recognised the two regions in eastern Ukraine, escalating a security crisis on the continent.
Reuters quoted Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM as saying “The potential for a rally over $100 a barrel has received an enormous boost.”
“Those who have bet on such a move anticipated the escalation of the conflict,” he was quoted as saying.