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Oil Update — Crude edges up; Japan distances from Russian embargo

Japan would face “difficulty” in immediately cutting off Russian oil imports over the invasion of Ukraine. (Image: Shutterstock)
Japan would face “difficulty” in immediately cutting off Russian oil imports over the invasion of Ukraine. (Image: Shutterstock)
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05 May 2022 04:05:10 GMT9
05 May 2022 04:05:10 GMT9

Nirmal Narayanan 

RIYADH: Oil prices extended gains on Thursday as a European Union proposal for new sanctions against Russia, including an embargo on crude in six months, offset concerns over Chinese demand.

Brent crude futures had climbed 60 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $110.74 a barrel at 0630 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 40 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $108.21 a barrel.

Japan reluctant to immediately follow Russian oil embargo

Japan would face “difficulty” in immediately cutting off Russian oil imports over the invasion of Ukraine, its minister of economy, trade, and industry Koichi Hagiuda said on Thursday.

Hagiuda remarked during a visit to Washington after the European Union’s executive proposed the toughest package of sanctions against Moscow, including the embargo on crude oil.

“Given Japan has its limit on resources, we would face some difficulty to keep in step immediately” with other countries, Hagiuda told reporters.

Berkshire boosts stake to 15.2% in Occidental 

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has bought another 5.9 million shares of Occidental Petroleum Corp, boosting its stake in the oil company to about 15.2 percent.

The purchases were made on Monday and Tuesday and cost about $336 million, Berkshire said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday night.

Following the purchases, Berkshire owns about 142.3 million Occidental shares worth approximately $8.8 billion, plus $10 billion of preferred stock it acquired in 2019 to help finance Occidental’s purchase of Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

Berkshire also has warrants to buy an additional $5 billion of Occidental shares at a slight discount to their Wednesday closing price of $61.57.

Occidental’s share price has more than doubled this year, benefiting from Berkshire’s purchases and rising oil prices, which were further boosted after Russia invaded Ukraine.

(With input from Reuters) 

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