Biden officials weigh Russia oil ban as gas prices soar

But that cross-border cooperation could stop with oil. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his country could not simply put out the flames.

“Europe has intentionally exempted energy supplies from Russia from sanctions,” he said in a statement on Monday. “Currently, Europe’s energy supplies for heat production, mobility, electricity supply and industry cannot be guaranteed in any other way.”

Biden administration officials say immediate discussions on Russian energy are focused on bans on domestic oil imports rather than implementing broader sanctions that could cut countries’ purchases. other. That could cushion the economic shock to oil markets since the United States doesn’t import much of Russian crude.

Last fall, it imported about 700,000 barrels a day from Russia, less than 10% of its total oil imports, US officials said. In contrast, Europe imports 4.5 million barrels per day from Russia, about a third of its total imports. The US could easily find a way to make up for any losses in Russian oil, analysts said, while Europe would have a harder time doing so.

But any disruption in the flow of oil could shake global markets, including oil prices, which have already risen due to uncertainty over Mr. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Brent crude, the global benchmark, ended Monday up about 4.3% to $123.21 a barrel, but before that it had climbed as high as $139 a barrel. Oil prices have risen about 26% in the past week as the conflict intensifies.

In a sign of the administration’s concern about uncertainties surrounding global energy flows, US officials discussed the possibility of increasing supply or distribution with oil-producing nations, including Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and Venezuelais a partner of Russia and has been subject to extensive US sanctions for many years.

Mr. Biden, in a speech more than a week before Putin invaded Ukraine, said that a conflict involving Russia could affect American consumers. “I’m not going to pretend this won’t hurt,” he speak 15. “There could be an impact on our energy prices, so we are taking aggressive steps to ease the pressure on our own energy markets and offset rising prices.” .”

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