How much oil does the US import from Russia? What Biden ban means

The US has banned imports of Russian oil and natural gas in retaliation for the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine – a move that will further complicate the Biden administration’s efforts to cut energy bills for American homes.

President Biden announced the ban after days of bipartisan pressure to take action against Russia’s energy sector, which has been largely untouched in previous rounds of sanctions. Europe remains heavily dependent on Russian oil even as it seeks to isolate the Kremlin in response to the invasion.

Biden and other supporters say the ban is necessary to curtail Russia’s revenue streams — although the president acknowledged US motorists would pay even more at the pump.

“Defending liberty will cost,” Biden said during a speech outlining the need for an import ban.

Russian oil tanks
The US imported about 8% of its oil and refined products from Russia last year.
picture alliance

How much oil does the US import from Russia?

Although the US relies far less on Russian oil and gas than its European counterparts, it imported some supplies prior to the ban. According to the Energy Information Agency, the US imported about 672,000 barrels of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia every day in 2021. This sum accounted for about 8% of all US imports.

Most of the oil and related products that the US imports come from Canada, which supplies more than 51%. Mexico and Saudi Arabia are also important suppliers.

Many companies had already halted their purchases from Russia amid concerns about the impact of sweeping economic sanctions and escalating violence in Ukraine. Gas Buddy analyst Patrick De Haan recently told The Post that supplies have already “slumped” since the war began as existing sanctions “choke” Russian oil exports.

President Biden
President Biden acknowledged that the decision would result in higher gas prices for Americans.
Win McNamee

Why does the US ban imports?

The ban is part of ongoing efforts by the Biden administration and other Western allies to put maximum pressure on Russia’s economy to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to end his invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s oil and gas exports account for more than 40% of the country’s annual revenue – meaning the Kremlin cannot afford to lose customers.

Biden argued that the import ban will also limit Moscow’s ability to fund the invasion, noting that the US “will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war” through oil and gas purchases.

Why are gas prices rising?

While the US gets a small portion of its oil from Russia, the import ban will raise concerns about further disruptions to the global energy market, which has been struggling to keep up with demand as the COVID-19 pandemic eases.

US gas prices – which hit record highs during the Ukraine war – will continue to rise as companies pass their higher costs on to consumers. The national average price of a gallon of gasoline rose 55 cents last week amid economic sanctions against Russia and other geopolitical tensions.

Pro-Ukraine protesters
President Biden and other supporters say the import ban is necessary to crack down on Russia’s top source of revenue.

What is the price of oil and petrol right now?

West Texas Intermediate crude, the US price benchmark, traded just below $122 after Biden’s speech. Brent crude, the global benchmark, traded above $126.

What does the US import ban mean for the global energy market?

Oil prices are expected to go much higher, but it’s still unclear how high they could go. Analysts told the Post that oil could cost $150 or more a barrel in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the Kremlin claims oil prices could soar to $300 a barrel and has threatened to cut off the Nord Stream 1 pipeline – Germany’s main source of fuel.

With mail wires How much oil does the US import from Russia? What Biden ban means


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