Oil prices were slightly down at the start of trade on Sunday evening, providing a welcome break from the volatility that has characterised recent weeks as Russia’s offensive on Ukraine continues.
Brent oil, the worldwide standard, was trading at approximately $111 a barrel early Sunday night, down nearly 1 percent from the previous day. Before Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, launched what President Biden termed a “vicious war of choice” in Ukraine, oil was selling for approximately $65 a barrel in December of last year. The West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark for the United States, was trading at $108, down almost 1.5 percent.
Despite a sharp increase in oil prices last week as markets prepared for the imposition of American penalties, prices are already showing indications of stabilisation. According to President Biden, the spigot for Russian oil into the United States was turned off on Tuesday as punishment for the conflict in Ukraine. He also prohibited the importation of natural gas and coal from Russia.
Mr. Biden had first rejected proposals for such severe penalties against Russian energy, fearing that they would drive up the price of gasoline, a topic that might become contentious in an election year. In the meanwhile, as Russia expanded its assaults on the Ukraine, Former President Obama imposed broad penalties, which he said would ultimately result in higher gasoline prices for Americans.
“I promised the American people from the outset that I would be honest with them,” he stated last week. I indicated at the time that preserving freedom would be expensive when I first talked about it.
According to AAA, the national average price of a gallon of petrol was $4.325 on Sunday afternoon. The price of gasoline has increased from a week ago, when it reached $4.009, virtually the highest level since 2008. However, it has decreased by one-tenth of a cent from Saturday.
The United States purchased just a minor quantity of Russian oil prior to Mr. Biden’s decision, accounting for less than 10 percent of the country’s overall energy resources. However, the move, which was meant to further isolate Russia economically, has had the consequence of preventing the nation from benefiting from American oil imports.