Oil Prices Surge As US Pushes For Global Ban on Russian Fuel

© REUTERS / Ivan AlvaradoA sculpture is seen outside a building of Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA in Caracas, Venezuela June 14, 2016.
A sculpture is seen outside a building of Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA in Caracas, Venezuela June 14, 2016.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.03.2022
The Biden administration is looking to erstwhile enemies to plug the gap as Western sanctions hit Western consumers hard too.
Oil prices jumped 10% Sunday as US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken publicly mused about the possibility of slamming Russia with an all-out oil embargo. Efforts to go about “banning the import of Russian oil while making sure that there is still an appropriate supply of oil on world markets,” are “very active,” Blinken told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Indeed, just a day prior, the US announced a surprise visit to Venezuela, in an apparent effort to both drive a wedge between the administration of President Nicalos Maduro and the Russian Federation and secure an alternate source of oil as Washington looks to isolate Russians from the global economy.
And now, Axios reports that advisers of US President Joe Biden are mulling a trip to Saudi Arabia, the gulf state theocracy which Biden promised to turn into a global “pariah” during his campaign for the US presidency. Those remarks came during a 2019 presidential debate after a US intelligence report assessed that Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman approved an operation to kill or capture Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
But as Western sanctions continue to drive fuel prices through the roof, it seems there’s little that can’t be swept under the rug in the name of ostracizing Russia. The news that President Biden is considering efforts to close the distance between his administration and the Saudi regime came the day after Bin Salman openly declared that he “does not care” what Biden thinks of him and floated the prospect of prioritizing ties with China over the US in what was reportedly his first interview with a non-Saudi outlet in two years.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gestures as she speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington March 3, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.03.2022
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With efforts underway to eliminate Russian oil from the world’s supply, it’s a moment rife with opportunity for a number of other oil-producing nations. And with all eyes in Washington now on Russia, a number of the US government’s previous targets are enjoying newfound breathing room. In ongoing talks over the revival of the Iranian nuclear deal, “Iran got much more than it could expect, much more,” according to the head of the Russian delegation, Ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov. “Realistically speaking, Iran got more than frankly, I expected or others expected.”
But for working people here in the US, efforts to ban the supply of Russian oil are unlikely to have any such upside. The average price of gas topped $4 per gallon Sunday, the first time fuel costs have reached that level since July of 2008. But politicians from energy-rich states–like Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin–have already seemingly found a way to turn lemons into lemonade. If their so-called “Ban Russian Energy Imports Act” becomes law, US fossil fuel companies (on which their campaign coffers are heavily based) are likely to see record profits in the coming years.
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