A worker at a gasoline station puts gas in the car of a customer in New York City on Nov. 26, 2021. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Energy experts expressed worry Monday that oil prices could pass $100 per barrel amid the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Prices for Brent crude futures rose above $96 per barrel on Monday before slightly dipping back after reaching their highest level since 2014 and could exacerbate inflation problems worldwide, CNN Business reported.
Giovanni Staunovo, an oil analyst for UBS, told the outlet that a disruption supply caused by a possible invasion of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin could send oil prices above $100 per barrel.
"No one can really read the mind of President Putin," he said.
Energy ministers from countries including Cyprus, Egypt, Israel and the United Arab Emirates spoke about the situation at the start of the three-day EGYPS 2022 petroleum conference in Cairo on Monday, CNBC reported.
Tarek El Molla, Egypt's petroleum minister, told the outlet that he could see oil prices rising but hopes it won't happen, while Cyprus' Energy Minister Natasa Pilides called rising prices "a very scary concept."
"It is very difficult to deal with because on the one hand, we have the tendency particularly in the last few months of subsidizing basically which is not the norm, so we are in that difficult position where when you start doing that it is very difficult to stop it," Pilides said.
"We definitely need to stick to our targets in terms of the energy transition, but I would also add that natural gas has a place in that trajectory as a bridge fuel."
Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar said during the conference that preventing prices from passing $100 per barrel would require "a diversity of energy sources."
The warnings come after all three major stock indexes in the United States fell Friday as financial experts warned of "shaky investor sentiment" after the White House said Russia could invade Ukraine before the end of the Winter Olympics.
John Lynch, chief investment officer at Comerica Wealth Management, said in a note obtained by Markets Insider on Friday that an invasion of Ukraine might accelerate prices for commodities such as oil and gold -- which show large correlations with inflation.
The national gas price average at the pump rose to nearly $3.50 per gallon on Monday, according to the American Automobile Association. Gas prices passed an average of $4.70 in California.