Oil prices drifted lower on Friday and were set to drop around 3% for the week as consuming countries’ planned release of 240 million barrels from emergency stocks offset some concerns over reduced supplies from Russia due to western sanctions.
Brent crude LCOc1 futures edged lower by 55 cents, or 0.6% to $100.03 a barrel at 0403 GMT after gaining more than $1 in the early morning.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures lost 34 cents, or 0.4%, to $95.67 a barrel.
Analysts said the emergency oil release, amounting to about 1 million barrels per day from May to the end of the year, might cap price rises in the short term, but would not fully cover volumes lost if more countries impose sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a special operation.
Although this is the biggest release since the stockpile was created in 1980, it will fail to ultimately change the fundamentals in the oil market. It is likely to delay further increases in output from key producers, ANZ Research analysts said in a note.