Oil price volatility has climbed dramatically as tensions between Israel and Iran escalate, with Brent breaking the $90 mark early on Friday morning before falling back to the $86 handle, OilPrice said.

The drastic seesawing of oil prices in recent trading sessions reflects the uncertainty surrounding the Israel-Iran conflict, with initial reports of Israeli strikes on Iranian soil ratcheting up Brent above $90 per barrel, only to see them plunge back to $86 per barrel following Tehran’s dismissal of their impact. The reimposition of oil sanctions on Venezuela was placed on the back burner by the market as geopolitics have reigned supreme lately. 

US reimposes oil sanctions on Venezuela. The US Department of State has let its 6-month waiver allowing Venezuela to freely trade its crude expire, claiming President Maduro failed to fulfill his pre-election commitments and provided oil companies a 45-day grace period to wind down operations in the country. 

Congress targets China’s purchases of Iranian oil. The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly (383-11) passed a bill countering China’s purchases of Iranian crude oil, seeking to sanction transactions between Chinese financial institutions and Iran, with the legislation moving to the Senate where it faces an uncertain fate. 

White House mulls summer SPR releases. Senior White House adviser John Podesta claimed the Biden administration could release strategic petroleum stocks over the summer months to ensure affordable gasoline prices, just as high oil prices have halted the US Energy Department’s SPR replenishment plans.  

Kazakhstan claims $150 billion from oil majors. The government of Kazakhstan has raised its arbitration claims against the NCOC consortium of international majors that developed its 13 Bbbls Kashagan supergiant field to $150 billion, claiming it recalculated the value of oil promised oil production that was not delivered.