Oil pulls back from 7-year high as Russia says it is withdrawing some troops

Crude oil storage tanks are seen from above at the Cushing Petroleum Center in Cushing, Oklahoma March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Nick Oxford

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  • Ukraine and Britain react cautiously to Russian decision
  • Russia and Iran note progress in reviving Iran nuclear deal
  • API data shows US crude, fuel stocks falling – market sources

NEW YORK, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Oil fell more than 3% on Tuesday, falling from a seven-year high after Russia said some of its military units were returning to their bases after drills near the Ukraine, a decision that seems to be defusing. tension between Moscow and the West.

It was unclear how many units were withdrawn and how far, after a buildup of around 130,000 Russian troops. An earlier Interfax report on troop movements prompted the oil to extend its losses. Read more

“Things are very fluid, but today is definitely a calmer day,” said Robert Yawger, executive director of energy futures at Mizuho. “It’s going to be a minute-to-minute, day-to-day thing.”

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Brent crude fell $3.20, or 3.3%, to settle at $93.28 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell $3.39, or 3.6%, to end at $92.07 a barrel.

Both oil benchmarks hit their highest level since September 2014 on Monday, with Brent hitting $96.78 and WTI hitting $95.82. The price of Brent jumped 50% in 2021, while WTI soared around 60%, as a global recovery in demand following the COVID-19 pandemic weighed on supply.

The latest Russian-Ukrainian development has prompted a cautious reaction from Ukraine and Britain, after days of American and British warnings that Moscow could invade its neighbor at any moment.

On Tuesday, Ukraine said its defense ministry and two banks had come under a cyberattack, appearing to point the finger at Russia. Read more

Investors are also watching talks between the United States and Iran on reviving Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, which could potentially see an increase in Iranian oil exports.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian on Monday, and they noted “tangible progress” in reviving the Iran nuclear deal, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. Read more

Underscoring the tight balance of supply and demand, US crude inventories fell 1.1 million barrels for the week ended February 11, according to market sources citing figures from the American Petroleum Institute Tuesday. Gasoline inventories fell 923,000 barrels while distillate inventories fell 546,000 barrels.

Data from the US government on stocks is due on Wednesday.

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Reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York; additional reporting by Alex Lawler in London and Yuka Obayashi in Tokyo; Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Evans

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