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The barrel of oil has now reached 120 dollars. An increase of 85% in one year. It is approaching the record of July 2008, in the midst of the subprime crisis. As the world is on the verge of imposing an embargo on Russian oil, in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine, the effects, already visible on the price of fuel at the pump, could worsen further. Russia’s energy minister has warned Westerners that in the event of an embargo, prices could rise above $300 a barrel. An amount that would plunge us into a situation of unprecedented and unknown gravity.
Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the world’s second largest oil producer in 2020. It weighs on the world black gold market. Fuel prices out of control would impact the lives of millions of Europeans, especially in their travels. Oil being the energy of vehicles when gas is that of homes. The European Union is working to strengthen its energy security for the coming months and the French government has promised aid, which will be added to the package of measures against the increase in energy prices which already amount to more than 20 Billions of Euro’s.
For the moment, OPEC +, which brings together 23 crude exporting countries, has not decided to increase its production to curb the rise. And for good reason, Russia is one of them. But on the buyer side, we are starting to turn away from Russian oil. Like Shell, which announced its gradual disengagement after a last purchase of 100,000 tons from Moscow, in the midst of aggression, which aroused the anger of the Ukrainians. Some are already anticipating future criticism, even lawsuits, or the negative impact on their image. As for the United States, they are close to declaring an outright embargo on Russian oil.
La Story is a podcast from Les Echos presented by Pierrick Fay. This episode was recorded in March 2022. Editor-in-chief: Clémence Lemaistre. Guests: Enrique Moreira, Vincent Collen and Etienne Goetz (journalist at “Les Echos”). Directed by: Willy Ganne. Production and publishing manager: Michèle Warnet. Music: Théo Boulenger. Graphic identity: Upian. Photo: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson. Sounds: BFM TV, Elysée, “Don’t Look Up: Cosmic Denial” (2021).
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