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Oil prices fall most in 2 years as UAE supports output hike

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A worker walks past a pump jack on an oil field owned by Bashneft company near the village of Nikolo-Berezovka, northwest from Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia, January 28, 2015. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

By Shariq Khan

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Oil prices plunged as much as 17% after media reports said OPEC producers United Arab Emirates and Iraq said they would support increased production, potentially offsetting some of the supply disruptions caused by sanctions on Russian oil after its invasion of Ukraine.

Brent crude fell more than 17%, or $22, to hit a session low at $105.60 during a sharp selloff. The benchmark crude recovered some losses by 1:03 p.m. EST (1803 GMT) to trade down $13.29, or 10.4%, at $114.69 a barrel. U.S. crude was down $12.01, or 9.7%, at $111.69.

Prices hit session lows after traders cited media reports of an Iraqi minister claiming the country is ready to hike production if OPEC+ requires it to. Reuters could not immediately verify the accuracy of the report.

Financial Times had earlier reported that Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to Washington, said the country favours increasing production.

“That’s not nothing. They can probably bring about 800,000 barrels to the market very quickly, even immediately, bringing us one-seventh of the way there in replacing Russian supply,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho.

(Additonal reporting by Yuka Obayashi and Mohi Narayan; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Nick Macfie)

Oil plunges as much as 17% as UAE, Iraq set to boost output

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