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RIYADH: Oil prices fell $2 a barrel at the start of Asian trading on Monday, following a second consecutive weekly decline after global consumers signaled plans to release a record volume of crude and petroleum products from stockpiles strategies and that blockages in China have continued.

Brent crude fell $2.04, or 2%, to $100.74 a barrel at 01:39 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.94, or 2%, to $96.32 .

Last week, Brent fell 1.5% while US oil fell 1%.

Lockdown in Shanghai; The IEA will release 60 million barrels

The market has been watching developments in China, where authorities have kept Shanghai, a city of 26 million, locked down under its “zero tolerance” for COVID-19. China is the largest oil importer in the world.

International Energy Agency member nations will release 60 million barrels over the next six months, with the United States matching that amount as part of its 180 million barrel release announced in March. The moves are intended to make up for a shortage of Russian crude after Moscow was hit with heavy sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine.

EU seeks alternatives to Russian oil and gas

The EU could set more ambitious targets for its transition to renewable energy as it seeks alternatives to oil and gas imports from Russia, EU climate policy chief Frans said on Sunday. Timmermans.

The 27 EU member states have agreed to collectively reduce their net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% below 1990 levels by 2030, a step towards ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the European Commission also proposed that Europe cut imports of Russian gas by two-thirds this year and draw up plans to phase them out by 2027.

The Commission is due to come up with a “Repower EU” plan in May on how the bloc can exit Russian fossil fuels.

“What we are going to do in the next two weeks is to work on what I call the Repower EU initiative, and within this we want to accelerate the energy transition. So in this context we could review our goals,” Timmermans told reporters during a visit to Cairo.

Biden to hold talks with Indian PM on Russian oil imports

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden will virtually meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, the White House said, when the US made it clear it does not want to see an increase in India’s Russian energy imports. .

“President Biden will continue our close consultations on the consequences of Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine and on mitigating its destabilizing impact on global food supply and commodity markets,” the secretary said Sunday. press release Jen Psaki in a statement.

US Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economics Daleep Singh said the US would not set any “red lines” for India on its energy imports from Russia, but did not want see a “rapid acceleration” of purchases.

Lured by steep discounts following Western sanctions against Russian entities, India has bought at least 13 million barrels of Russian crude oil since the country invaded Ukraine in late February. That compares to some 16 million barrels for all of last year, according to Reuters.

(With contributions from Reuters)

Laura J. Boyer