NEW YORK, July 25 Brent crude oil prices shot more than $1 higher at mid-morning on Friday while U.S. oil erased early losses, with traders linking the gains to talk that further Western sanctions on Russia could hit oil exports.
Prices began rising shortly after Reuters reported that EU sources said European Council leader Herman van Rompuy has written to EU leaders saying any restrictions the bloc agrees on Russian access to sensitive technology should only include the oil sector, and exclude gas. Some traders also cited speculation about additional U.S. sanctions, although there were no indication of any news reports on this.
September Brent, which had been trading at around $107 a barrel before the news, surged to more than $108 a barrel before easing back to $107.70 a barrel by 11:09 EST, up 63 cents on the day. U.S. WTI prices reversed earlier losses to rise 7 cents to $102.14 a barrel. (Reporting by Jonathan Leff; Editing by David Gregorio)