Middle Eastern oil producers fear high prices will drive more people to buy electric vehicles

Oil prices rose, with Brent futures holding above $100 on Friday.

Volatility remains elevated following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which saw the US and UK ban imports of Russian oil, gas and coal.

As the price of oil rises, some of its biggest producers worry that consumers will turn to electric vehicles.

Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar told The New York Times on Wednesday that the OPEC member and other Middle Eastern oil producers are concerned about the possibility.

We are happy in the short term, but we are not happy if it lasts.

Abdul Jabar.

Oil prices rose following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with Brent futures rising 3.8% to $113.50 a barrel on Friday morning. Brent saw a 30% price change this week, the most volatile in two years.

President Joe Biden this week banned imports of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas and coal, targeting an area excluded from the first round of US sanctions in retaliation.

The United States imported 8.5 million barrels per day of crude oil and refined products, such as gasoline and fuel oil, in 2021, according to the Energy Information Administration. Of these, about 672,000 barrels, or about 8%, came from Russia.

The ban could push gasoline prices to new highs and widen the gap that already exists between supply and demand.

Russia is the world’s third largest oil producer and has the largest natural gas reserves in the world.

OPEC’s secretary general said this week that “there is no capacity in the world” that can replace the 7 million barrels of oil that Russia produces per day.

This crisis could accelerate the production of electric vehicles in the world.

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