March 7 (Business Insider) – Crude oil prices surged nearly 10% on Sunday evening to top $130 a barrel on fears of a supply crunch.
Oil’s relentless price rise comes on the back of fears about a supply crunch after American Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the US was in discussion with European allies about a ban of Russian oil.
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International benchmark Brent crude oil futures were up 8.38% at $128.01 a barrel at 9:34 p.m. EST, while US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil futures were up 7.23% at $124.04 a barrel.
At one point overnight, Brent crude touched $139.13 a barrel before paring losses. Both Brent and WTI crude oil futures are up about 65% this year to date.
Russia is the world’s third-largest oil producer, according to the International Energy Agency.
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Oil prices could rise to $200 a barrel as the US would not be able to meet the supply shortfall from a Russian crude oil ban, said Scott Sheffield, CEO of Pioneer Natural Resource, a top US shale oil producer, per the Financial Times.
“The only way to stop Putin is to ban oil and gas exports,” Sheffield told the FT on Friday. “[But] if the western world announced that we’re going to ban Russian oil and gas, oil is going to go to $200 a barrel, probably — $150 to $200 easy.”
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Surging crude-oil prices have already sent prices up at the pump, with US gas prices jumping 11% from a week ago to around $4 a gallon on Sunday — the highest level since 2008, according to the AAA.
“Increasing oil prices continue to play a leading role in pushing prices higher,” the AAA said in a Thursday press release. “Pump prices will likely continue to rise as crude prices continue to climb.”
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