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A bigger-than-expected build in U.S. gasoline inventories and widening COVID-19 controls in China also added downward pressure on crude prices. Both benchmarks plunged more than 3% on Wednesday on news the planned price cap on Russian oil could be above the current market level. European Union governments remained split over what level to cap Russian oil prices at to curb Moscow's ability to pay for its war in Ukraine without causing a global oil supply shock, with more talks possible on Friday if positions converge. A higher price cap could make it attractive for Russia to continue to sell its oil, reducing the risk of a supply shortage in global oil markets. "When one considers that the current Russian export price is below the proposed limit, the price cap automatically implies uninterrupted Russian exports," said PVM Oil analyst Tamas Varga.
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