NEW YORK: Crude oil fell nearly 2 percent on Tuesday on comments from President Vladimir Putin that eased concerns Russia would escalate its military intervention in Ukraine's Crimea peninsula.
Putin told reporters Russia reserved the "right" to intervene in the Ukraine crisis, but would only use force as a "last resort."
Coupled with news that Russian troops engaged in military exercises near the Ukraine border were ordered to return to their bases, oil prices slid from the five-month highs it reached Monday.
"The receding fears of a disruption of the Russian crude oil supply and the easing geopolitical concerns are weighing on crude," said Dwayne Pliska, senior trading consultant for HighGround trading in Chicago, Illinois.
April Brent crude settled $1.90 lower at $109.30 a barrel, after it ended the previous session at its highest close this year.
U.S. crude for April delivery settled $1.59 lower at $103.33, after rising to $105.22 on Monday, the highest level since Sept. 20.
Oil products prices retreated in tandem with U.S. crude. New York ultra-low sulfur diesel futures, often called heating oil, fell nearly 4 cents to $3.0407 per gallon, after it settled more than 6 cents higher at $3.0805 in the previous session.
U.S. gasoline RBOB fell by more than 3 cents to $2.9853 per gallon after it settled more than 4 cents higher a day earlier.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories rose by 1.2 million barrels last week, in line with expectations, inventory data released by the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday. Stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, where the American benchmark is priced, fell by 2.6 million barrels, the data showed.
Source – Reuters