How much crude oil does the United States import from Russia? Here is what Biden's suspension actually entails.
The US has imposed an embargo on Russian oil and natural gas imports in punishment for the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine - a decision that would hinder the Biden administration's efforts to bring down American home energy expenses.
President Biden announced the restriction in response to days of bipartisan pressure to take action against Russia's energy sector, which was largely spared in previous sanctions rounds. Europe's reliance on Russian oil remains high, despite efforts to isolate the Kremlin in response to the invasion.
Biden and other supporters argue that the ban is important to constrain Russia's revenue sources - albeit the president recognized that US motorists will pay a higher price at the pump.
"Defending liberty will cost," Biden stated during an address explaining the importance of an import restriction.
What amount of oil does the United States import from Russia?
While the US is significantly less dependant on Russian oil and gas than its European rivals, prior to the ban, the US imported some quantity. According to Energy Information Agency data, the US purchased around 672,000 barrels per day of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia in 2021. This number accounted for approximately 8% of all US imports.
The US imports the majority of oil and related products from Canada, which contributes more than 51%. Additionally, Mexico and Saudi Arabia are significant providers.
Numerous businesses had already suspended imports from Russia out of fear for the impact of broad economic sanctions and the rising bloodshed in Ukraine. According to Gas Buddy analyst Patrick De Haan, shipments have already "collapsed" since the war began, with existing restrictions acting as a "chokehold" on Russian oil exports.
Why is the United States prohibiting imports?
The restriction is part of a broader attempt by the Biden administration and its Western partners to exert maximum economic pressure on Russia in order to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to cease his invasion of Ukraine. Russia's oil and gas exports amount for more than 40% of annual earnings – the Kremlin can ill afford a client loss.
Biden contended that the import embargo will also constrain Moscow's capacity to finance the invasion, stressing that the US "will not participate in supporting Putin's war" through oil and gas imports.
Why are gasoline prices increasing?
While the US imports a modest amount of oil from Russia, the import embargo will exacerbate fears of more disruptions to the global energy system, which has struggled to keep up with demand as the COVID-19 pandemic fades.
Gas prices in the United States — which have already reached a record high due to the Ukraine war — will continue to grow as firms pass on their increased costs to consumers. The national average price of gas increased 55 cents in the last week as a result of economic sanctions against Russia and other geopolitical tensions.
What are the current prices of oil and gasoline?
Following Biden's address, West Texas Intermediate crude oil, the US pricing benchmark, was trading just around $122 per barrel. Brent crude, the worldwide benchmark, was selling at a price of more than $126 a barrel.
What effect will the US energy import ban have on the global energy market?
Oil prices are projected to rocket far higher, but the extent to which they can go remains unknown. According to analysts contacted by The Post, oil might reach a price of $150 or more per barrel in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the Kremlin believes that oil prices might reach $300 per barrel and has threatened to shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which is Germany's primary supplier of gasoline.