Energy prices soared and markets tumbled Thursday, after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Oil prices rose to their highest level in nearly eight years, topping $105 per barrel for the first time since 2014. The Brent crude benchmark price of oil rose by 7.5%, or $7.26, Thursday afternoon, rising to 104.10, after peaking at 105.79, while Western Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 7.2% to $98.73.

Markets in the US and Europe opened with sharp declines Thursday, with the Down Jones Industrial Average dropping 2.5% on opening, though it recouped some of its losses, and by 11:30 AM local time was down 1.9%.

Western powers vowed harsh sanctions on Moscow prior to the invasion, with Germany pledging to freeze authorization for the Nord Stream 2 oil pipeline.

But Europe has long depended on Russia, the second largest oil exporter in the world, for much of its energy supply. Sanctions could leave some countries with fuel shortages, analysts warned.

"Russia is the third-largest oil producer and second-largest oil exporter. Given low inventories and dwindling spare capacity, the oil market cannot afford large supply disruptions," UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said, according to Reuters.

Russia also is a major producer of natural gas, supplying Europe with more than a third of its natural gas.

Fuel prices were already on the rise prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in part due to growing demand following an abrupt drop off in fuel usage during the COVID pandemic.

The sudden decline in fuel use in 2020 led to a severe oil glut, resulting in a decrease in production – a decrease which has subsequently led to higher prices as demand rises.