Oil prices rise adding to strong first quarter gains

Environment

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An energy installation on a property leased to Devon Energy Production Company by the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City is seen near Guthrie, Oklahoma
Nick Oxford | Reuters

Crude oil futures ticked slightly lower Monday, taking a breather after a strong first quarter.

The West Texas Intermediate contract for May delivery lost 33 cents, or 0.4%, to $82.84 a barrel in the first day of trading for the second quarter. The Brent contract for June delivery dropped 40 cents, or 0.49%, to $86.57 a barrel.

U.S. crude and Brent also booked three consecutive months of gains. WTI is up 15.5% for the year while Brent is up 12.3%.

Oil has been grinding higher this year on expectations of strong global demand as OPEC+ holds barrels off the market through at least the second quarter.

Geopolitical risk also remains present in the market as Ukraine strikes Russian oil refineries, and Houthi militant attacks in the Red Sea have led to the diversion crude deliveries around the Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa.

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