WASHINGTON — Each morning gas prices continue to climb higher. You’ll probably see it in the morning on the way to work. We are told it’s caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
But only a fraction of our gas comes from Russian oil. So why is the price so high?
Our research and experts verified we may not bring in much oil from Russia, but the United States doesn’t have to import Russian oil for it to affect our prices here. That is because in the oil world -it’s all one barrel.
If the U.S. only imports a small fraction of crude oil from Russia, why are U.S. gas prices rising?
The price of oil is set at a global level. Any supply disruption or potential disruption will affect gas prices all over the world.
WHAT WE FOUND:
It might be hard to believe, but the U.S. and Russia are both in the top three of oil producers in the world.
“While we do produce an enormous amount of oil on a volumetric basis, that we consume we are also sending a lot of oil overseas, and we are also importing,” Sasha Mackler explained.
According to 2021 numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration we imported about 3.3% from Russia. So, it is really not much at all. But, that doesn’t factor into the price of oil.
“It doesn't really matter, necessarily how much oil any country is producing itself and consuming internally, because the price of oil is really set on a global basis,” Mackler said.
The cost of oil is measured based on the global supply. Any supply disruption anywhere in the world will affect the cost of oil.
“But it’s important to note that we actually haven't seen a supply disruption,” Mackler explained. “Right now, what we're seeing happen in the oil markets is nervousness around a potential supply disruption.”
To sum it up: Oil’s price is measured across the globe. Any supply disruptions or nervousness anywhere cause the price to go up. Since gas is made from oil, gas prices go up with it.