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Fears that the Ukraine-Russia crisis would impair global supplies are driving up oil and gas prices.

After Russia moved soldiers into separatist territories in Ukraine, European gas futures jumped 13%. On Tuesday, the price of Brent crude oil, a global benchmark, hit a seven-year high of $99.38 (£73) a barrel. After hitting a record 149.12p a litre on Sunday, the RAC warned that the issue would push up UK gasoline prices even higher. After recognising two rebel-held territories in Ukraine’s east as independent states, Russia dispatched soldiers there. The FTSE 100 stock index opened 1.4 percent lower in London before rebounding ground and turning positive.

Asian stock markets, on the other hand, ended the day lower, and US stock exchanges were braced for losses. Sanctions against Russia, the world’s second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, have been imposed or threatened by Western powers. Russia is also the world’s leading natural gas producer.

On Tuesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz took the historic move of banning the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would have sent gas directly from Russia to Germany. As a result, wholesale gas prices have risen by 10% in the UK, with the cost for April delivery up 9% and the cost for May up 10% to 191p per therm. However, this is still a far cry from the all-time highs reached in December of last year, when it hit almost 400p per therm.

According to Sue Trinh of Manulife Investment Management, sanctions forcing Russia to deliver less crude or natural gas would have “significant effects” on oil prices and the global economy. Oil prices, which have been steadily climbing for months, have risen by more than 10% since the beginning of February.

Oil could rise above $100 a barrel, according to Maike Currie, an investment director at Fidelity International, due to a combination of the Ukraine situation, a severe winter in the United States, and a lack of investment in oil and gas supplies around the world. “Russia consumes one out of every ten barrels of oil consumed globally, so it is a huge factor in terms of oil prices, and it will, of course, harm consumers at the pump,” she said.

Although Russia produces the majority of the oil and gas that the UK imports, if Russian supplies are limited, wholesale prices are likely to rise around the world. In the midst of the tensions, average UK petrol prices touched a fresh high of 149.12p per litre on Sunday, before falling to 149.03p on Monday, according to the RAC. On Monday, average diesel prices were 152.51p per litre, marginally below the previous high of 152.58p set on Sunday.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is already forcing oil prices to rise, and gasoline costs will definitely rise inexorably towards the gloomy milestone of £1.50 a litre [of unleaded petrol],” RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams warned.

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