As the White House continues to push back against the oil industry over high gasoline prices, WTI and Brent crude rallied on Thursday to gain nearly 10% by 3:30 p.m. ET.
Oil prices rebounded substantially on Thursday after a major selloff earlier in the week. That earlier selloff had stripped away nearly all the gains that crude oil had made after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and resulting sanctions.
By 4:30 pm, WTI’s gains had eased somewhat, but was still trading up $8.21 on the day at $103.30 per barrel. Brent crude was trading up $8.55 on the day at $106.60.
Gasoline prices, which were already on the rise in the latter half of 2021, spiked after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on supply fears surrounding the possibility of sanctions on the world’s third-largest crude oil producer after the United States and Saudi Arabia. When crude oil prices finally began to ease earlier this week on stock builds and hopes of a speedy resolution between Ukraine and Russia, it was hoped by many Americans that gasoline prices would ease in lockstep.
But with crude oil prices rising once again, the prospects of an imminent gasoline price dip in the United States has all but disappeared.
The catalyst for Thursday’s price spike can be partially attributed to the market losing hope that Russia and Ukraine will reach some kind of agreement, ending the conflict and, therefore, sanctions.
The IEA estimated on Wednesday that as much as 3 million barrels per day of Russian crude oil could be shut in as a result of the sanctions—and self-sanctions—placed on Russian crude oil.
The national average of a gallon of gasoline in the United States was $4.289 on Thursday, according to AAA data—nearly 2 cents down from yesterday’s average, but still up $1.41 per gallon from a year ago.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com