WASHINGTON (Realist English). On March 8, the US government announced a ban on the import of Russian oil.
“Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at US ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine,” Biden said on Tuesday, adding that the decision was taken “in close consultation” with allies.
“This is mostly US posturing,” Jim Krane, an energy fellow at Rice University in Houston, Texas, told Al Jazeera. “But it does risk a wider conflict within oil markets and higher oil prices for American consumers.”
After Biden’s statement, Brent crude oil rose by 7.35% to $132.27 per barrel, while American West Texas Intermediate jumped by 7.26% to $128.07.
According to the American Trade Association of Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, in 2021, the United States imported an average of 209 thousand barrels of crude oil per day and 500 thousand barrels of other petroleum products from Russia. This is only 3% of the total imports of crude oil to the United States and 1% of the total volume of crude oil that enters American refineries. For Russia, this is 3% of total exports.
In February, the prospect of a ban provoked a 30% price hike. Now, the price of oil hovers at $130 per barrel, and a gallon of gas (4.5 liters) is sold at an average of $4.17.
Analysts warn that prices might rise up to $160 or even to $200 per barrel if buyers continue to avoid Russian oil, which will lead to an increase in gasoline prices in the United States of above $5 per gallon.
Russia is the largest exporter of oil and petroleum products in the world. The country produces about 7 million barrels per day. Russia accounts for 7% of global supplies.