NEW YORK, March 3 — US crude prices finished Wednesday at the highest level since 2011 after major oil exporters declined to increase output more quickly despite the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Futures for West Texas Intermediate crude for delivery in April jumped 7.0 per cent to US$110.60 a barrel as Saudi Arabia, Russia and other top oil exporters said they would stick to their plan to boost production by just 400,000 barrels a day in April, the same pace as in recent months.

And Brent futures for May delivery jumped 7.6 per cent to US$112.93 a barrel, the highest since 2014.

The rise comes amid worries that the ongoing war in Ukraine and international sanctions on Russia will sideline key crude supply in an already-tight market.

But the Opec+ group concluded that the market was “well-balanced” and “current volatility is not caused by changes in market fundamentals but by current geopolitical developments,” according to a press release.

The meeting Wednesday, held via video conference, come a day after International Energy Agency (IEA) members agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil from strategic reserves to try to stabilise global markets.

But the IEA action was not “sufficient relief” in light of the “already critical tightness of the global oil market, even before the escalation in Ukraine,” Goldman Sachs said in a note. — AFP