Crude unmoved by Ukraine situation; US looks to drill in Atlantic

Who are Those Masked Men?

Who are those masked men? In Ukraine armed masked men seized an airport the day after some other unidentified armed masked men took over a building in the Crimea. Ukraine’s acting President Oleksandr Turchyno is blaming Russia. John Kerry is warning Russia saying actions mean more than words and its only words and words alone or something to that effect...

The AP reports that the Russian military were blocking an airport in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol in Crimea near the Russian naval base while unidentified men were patrolling another airport serving the regional capital, Ukraine's new Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Friday. Avakov wrote in a Facebook post that the Belbek international airport in Sevastopol was blocked by military units of the Russian navy. "I can only describe this as a military invasion and occupation," Avakov said.  The Russian foreign ministry refused to comment while a spokesman for the Russian defense ministry was not available for comment.

The oil markets seem unmoved by these developments even as the Russian ruble plunges and some small sign of flight to quality buying in gold and bonds. Yet overnight we are not driving higher we are marking time. The question is whether as we get closer to the weekend the angst will build or moderate.

Perhaps fears that at this point the uncertainty is just hurting demand expectations. Fears’ surrounding China and other emerging markets has the market feeling woozy. The collapse of the Brent/WTI spread continues to dominate trade.

The New York Times reports that “The Interior Department opened the door on Thursday to the first searches in decades for oil and gas off the Atlantic coast, recommending that undersea seismic surveys proceed, though with a host of safeguards to shield marine life from much of their impact. The recommendation is likely to be adopted after a period of public comment and over objections by environmental activists who say it will be ruinous for the climate and sea life alike.”

The American Petroleum Institute called the recommendation a critical step toward bolstering the nation’s energy security, predicting that oil and gas production in the region could create 280,000 new jobs and generate $195 billion in private investment.

Activists were livid. Allowing exploration “could be a death sentence for many marine mammals, and is needlessly turning the Atlantic Ocean into a blast zone,” Jacqueline Savitz, a vice president at the conservation group Oceana, said in a statement on Thursday

Oceana and other groups have campaigned for months against the Atlantic survey plans, citing Interior Department calculations that the intense noise of seismic exploration could kill and injure thousands of dolphins and whales.

But while the assessment released on Thursday repeats those estimates, it also largely dismisses them, stating that they employ multiple worst-case scenarios and ignore measures by humans and the mammals themselves to avoid harm. Must Read!


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Phil Flynn

Senior energy analyst at The PRICE Futures Group and a Fox Business Network contributor. He is one of the world's leading market analysts, providing individual investors, professional traders, and institutions with up-to-the-minute investment and risk management insight into global petroleum, gasoline, and energy markets. His precise and timely forecasts have come to be in great demand by industry and media worldwide and his impressive career goes back almost three decades, gaining attention with his market calls and energetic personality as writer of The Energy Report. You can contact Phil by phone at (888) 264-5665 or by email at Learn even more on our website at


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