U.S. crude futures settled higher on Friday, capping off a bearish week with a rally driven by in part by concerns about a collapse of the Ukrainian ceasefire and forecasts of unseasonably cold temperatures in the U.S. Midwest.
The Ukrainian military accused Russia of sending 32 tanks and truckloads of troops across the border, which if true would signal an end to the lull in violence between the two countries. Renewed fighting in the region could disrupt oil flows, throttle supply, and drive worldwide prices up.
However, some traders are skeptical that another flaring of violence in the region could affect supply and prices.
"There's not been a single supply disruption from the Ukraine situation in the past four, five months, though this time around it remains to be seen," said Tariq Zahir of Tyche Capital Advisers.