Oil prices soar as Western allies discuss Russian import ban

Oil prices have soared to the highest level since July 2008 as the United States and European allies consider banning imports of Russian oil.

Adding fuel to the crisis was the no-availability of oil from Iran whose 2015 nuclear deal with world powers were mired in uncertainty.

Brent crude – the global oil benchmark – rose to above $139 a barrel, before easing to around $130. It was in 2008 that the crude oil price touched the maximum of $140 a barrel.

Experts say the prices may rise more in the coming days as Russian supply is around seven million bpd of oil or 7 per cent of the global supply. Russia exports 4 million to 5 million barrels of oil daily, making it the second-largest crude exporter in the world after Saudi Arabia. Iran is also likely take several months to restore oil flows even if it reaches a nuclear deal.

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