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Some of the largest U.S. companies, including the biggest oil lobby, called on the Biden Administration and Congress this week to tread carefully with potential new sanctions against Russia that could hit American firms and their competitiveness.
On Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden said, “I have made it clear to — early on to President Putin that if he were to move into Ukraine, that there’d be severe consequences, including significant economic sanctions, as well as I’d feel obliged to beef up our presence — NATO’s presence in — on the eastern front: Poland, Romania, et cetera.”
President Biden was talking to reporters on one of the hottest geopolitical topics these days—the threat of Russia invading Ukraine.
The standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine continues amid the Russian military buildup on the border with Ukraine. Amid the continued threat of possible Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Biden Administration is seeking to reassure Europe about its natural gas supply at a time of record-high gas and power prices amid low gas inventories and lower-than-normal supply from Russia.
Still, trade groups and the American Petroleum Institute (API) told Reuters this week that the Administration should carefully pick its fights in a possible new round of sanctions to limit the impact on U.S. companies.
The Administration and Congress need to “get the details right in case they must follow through on the threat of sanctions,” Jake Colvin, president of The National Foreign Trade Council, told Reuters.
API, via a spokesperson, also told Reuters that “Sanctions should be as targeted as possible in order to limit potential harm to the competitiveness of U.S. companies,” an API spokesperson said.”
In a previous round of sanctions against Russia, U.S. supermajor ExxonMobil had to pull out of a project in the Arctic in Russia.
Following the U.S. and EU sanctions against Russia over the annexation of Crimea back in 2014, Exxon shelved its plans to take part in the exploration and exploitation of Russia’s Arctic shelf. Exxon was estimated to have lost more than $1 billion from the sanctions.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com