Oil Prices Jump as U.S. Discusses Russian Import Ban

The price of oil jumped again on Sunday as the United States considers an embargo on Russian imports in response to the war in Ukraine.

The cost of Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose about 10 percent, reaching $130 a barrel on Sunday evening. In early December, it cost about $65 a barrel.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that the United States was considering a ban on Russian oil imports. Republicans and Democrats in Congress have been pushing President Biden to ban Russian oil as they search for new ways to punish the government of President Vladimir V. Putin.

Russian energy represents a small fraction of American imports, and Russia is already having trouble exporting its oil even in the absence of sanctions, as traders and refiners slash purchases of Russian crude for reasons as varied as reputational risk and the safety of tankers in a war zone.

Still, Mr. Biden and his advisers had resisted calls for more aggressive sanctions on Russian oil, saying they are worried that it would send fuel prices soaring. The average price of a gallon of gas reached $4.009 on Sunday, according to AAA, approaching the highest level since 2008.

On Sunday, however, Mr. Blinken said the Biden administration was seriously discussing an oil embargo.

“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 on CNN. “That’s a very active discussion as we speak.

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