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A sudden uptick in Ukrainian attacks on Russian energy infrastructure are having a material impact on the export of critical oil and gas products and likely bolstering crude prices. Three successful drone strikes on Russian refineries, terminals, and storage facilities over the past week show Ukraine has increased its capability to strike deep into the country’s mainland. Crude oil futures have been trending up throughout the month on several international supply-side disruptions, but strikes on Russia’s export capacity could become the most entrenched for months to come.

Related ETFs: Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE), Invesco DB Oil Fund (DBO)

International benchmark Brent crude oil jumped above $81.00 per barrel for the first time in 2024 this morning, bolstered by a spate of successful Ukrainian strikes against Russian energy facilities over the past week. In a reversal of the drone and missile strikes Russia has regularly used against Ukrainian ports, meant to tighten the economic noose around Kyiv, the Ukrainians are likely employing attacks on energy infrastructure behind enemy lines to muddle Russian logistics and force the relocation of critical air defense weapons away from the front in Ukraine.

The first hit earlier this week targeted a fuel depot in the Bryansk Oblast last Friday, damaging or destroying four Rosneft-owned oil reservoirs with a total capacity of 6,000 cubic meters of crude (1.6 million gallons). That was followed by a smaller-scale attack on a Novatek-owned fuel export terminal on the Baltic Sea in the Leningrad Oblast, allegedly undertaken by Ukrainian special forces. A fire, allegedly started by a drone strike, forced the facility to suspend operations. Per Reuters, it will take weeks before the processing complex and terminal can resume operations.

While the Bryansk strike occurred just 55km from the…

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