Crude oil prices continued to climb on Friday as investors considered the impact of supply disruptions amid continued Covid-19 lockdowns in China and the growing possibility of European sanctions on Russia’s energy exports. As of 1250 hours GMT, Brent, the international benchmark for two-thirds of the world’s oil, gained $1.93 (+1.79 percent) to reach 109.52 a barrel. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the main oil benchmark for North America, jumped to $106.35 a barrel, up by $0.99 (+0.94 percent). Both benchmarks are set to close the week higher, with WTI on track for a fifth straight month of advances. The price for Opec basket was recorded at $105.33 a barrel with an increase of 2.32 percent. The OPEC Reference Basket of Crudes (ORB) is made up of Saharan Blend, Girassol, Djeno, Zafiro, Rabi Light, Iran Heavy, Basra Light, Kuwait Export, Es Sider, Bonny Light, Arab Light, Murban and Merey. Arab Light was available at $110.57 a barrel with a decrease of 0.99 percent and the price of Russian Sokol slipped to $95.84 a barrel with a 1.47 percent decrease. Oil prices declined in recent weeks amid concerns about the demand outlook and coordinated efforts by the US and the International Energy Agency to improve supply. Crude prices, which rose close to $140 a barrel in March on developments related to the Ukraine conflict, have given up most gains. However, Europe’s sudden scramble for alternative energy supplies offset China’s slowdown fears and sent prices higher. China, the world’s second-largest economy and biggest crude importer, is experiencing a wave of Covid-19 infections and has introduced strict movement curbs in major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing as part of its “zero-Covid” strategy. There are currently no signs that the country is willing to ease movement restrictions that are slowing its economic growth momentum and piling pressure on already strained global supply chains.