U.S. crude oil briefly tops $130 a barrel, a 13-year high on possible Western ban of Russian oil

The oil and gas terminal at the Port of Odessa in Odessa, Ukraine, on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022.
Christopher Occhicone | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. crude oil surged more than 8% in early trading on Sunday evening as the market continued to react to supply disruptions stemming from Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the possibility of a ban on Russian oil and natural gas.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures, the U.S. oil benchmark, traded 8% higher to above $125 a barrel, the highest since mid-2008. At one point the price topped $130 a barrel.

The international benchmark, Brent crude, traded 9% higher to $128.60, also the highest price seen since 2008.

“Oil is rising on the prospect for a full embargo of Russian oil and products,” said John Kilduff of Again Capital. “Already high gasoline prices are going to keep going up in a jarring fashion. Prices in some states will be pushing $5 pretty quickly.”

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The U.S. and its allies are considering banning Russian oil and natural gas imports, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

“We are now talking to our European partners and allies to look in a coordinated way at the prospect of banning the import of Russian oil while making sure that there is still an appropriate supply of oil on world markets,” he said. “That’s a very active discussion as we speak.”

While Western sanctions against Russia have so far allowed the country’s energy trade to continue, most buyers are avoiding Russian products already. Sixty-six percent of Russian oil is struggling to find buyers, according to JPMorgan analysis.

The U.S. average for a gallon of gas topped $4 on Sunday, according to AAA, in a rapid move due to the conflict. The underlying cost of oil accounts for more than 50% of the cost of gas that consumers put in their cars.

—With reporting by Pippa Stevens, Samantha Subin and Patti Domm.