The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has resulted in harsh economic penalties and criticism from the US and its allies.
Oil prices have risen, forcing traders to seek alternate sources in an already tight market.
Amidst concerns about disruptions in global supply, of which 8% comes from Russian exports.
The world’s largest oil consumer, the United States, is particularly concerned about the rising prices.
However, inflation is already at a four-decade high.
The US imported an average of 209,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude and 500,000 bpd of various petroleum products from Russia in 2021.
According to the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) trade association.
This accounted for 3% of total crude oil imports into the United States.
Additionally, 1% of total crude oil is processed by US refineries.
In the same year, the United States purchased 61 percent of its crude oil from Canada, 10% from Mexico, and 6% from Saudi Arabia.
Imports of Russian crude oil have grown since the United States put sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry in 2019.
Along with Hurricane Ida which hampered the output in the Gulf of Mexico in 2019.
US refiners also briefly increased Russian imports.
What impact might Russian oil export limitations have on the United States?
According to experts, there are two possible situations to consider.
“The first is with regard to oil supply, and the quick answer is that it would not be sufficient.”
“If things become really bad, the US has a strategic petroleum reserve,” he explained.
However, Pankratz points out that there is a broader economic impact to consider.
"If the US stopped purchasing Russian oil, many other nations would likely stop importing Russian oil as well, making an already tight oil market even tighter," Pankratz said.
“This would drive up the price, which in turn might drive inflation, which in turn could harm the US economy.”
While the sanctions against Russia do not specifically target its energy supply,
However, they do target banks and financial institutions, obstructing Russia’s ability to export oil and other fuels indirectly.
Crude oil prices soared on Wednesday posing a problem for governments attempting to control inflation.
“We’re seeing a lot of self-sanctioning while there aren’t any sanctions in place [on the petroleum market],” Pankratz said.