Oil prices increased with President Joe Biden signing an executive order prohibiting US imports of Russian oil, gas and coal as Moscow ramped up its Ukraine campaign, with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin set to retaliate with a ban on the export of certain commodities.
West Texas Intermediate traded higher early this week, up from the previous week’s high of $116.45 per barrel to a Tuesday high of $127.40, and traded near its high on Wednesday at around $125.
The US on Tuesday announced an immediate ban on “new Russian shipments of oil, certain petroleum products, liquefied natural gas and coal”, the Wall Street Journal reported
“Washington will give companies 45 days to wind down existing contracts for Russian energy supplies, a senior Biden administration official said,” the WSJ added.
The UK, meanwhile, said “it would phase out the import of Russian oil by the end of the year”, with “Kwasi Kwarteng, UK business secretary, [saying] the British government would organise an ‘orderly transition’ away from Russian oil imports”, the Financial Times reported.
However, with Europe highly dependent on natural gas imports from Russia, the EU has said it will continue to allow them, while phasing out all imports of Russian oil by two-thirds by the end of this year.
President Putin is to ban exports of certain commodities and raw materials, with the Russian cabinet given two days to come up with a list of countries subject to the ban, according to a decree issued on Tuesday evening in Moscow, the WSJ reported.
Oil prices are being driven by the war in Ukraine, and the question remains as to how long the Russian invasion will last, with oil prices likely to move up rapidly should the situation worsen.
For this week’s recommendation, investors should look at buying oil in the price range of $120-$132 per barrel.