Fmr. Gulf Oil CEO on prices surging as Russia-Ukraine crisis rages on: US 'shooting ourselves in the foot'

US ‘shooting ourselves in the foot’ on energy amid Russia, Ukraine conflict: Former Gulf Oil CEO

Former Gulf Oil CEO Joe Petrowski weighs in on prices for the commodity soaring as the Russia-Ukraine crisis rages on.

Former Gulf Oil CEO Joe Petrowski weighed in on prices for the commodity surging as the Russia-Ukraine crisis rages on, arguing that the U.S. is "shooting ourselves in the foot" with respect energy. 

He warned Thursday that the Chinese are building oil stocks, which he argued nations typically do "before they go into a military operation." Petrowski made the comments as fears mount that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan could be next if Beijing becomes emboldened by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Petrowski also pointed out, while the Chinese build oil stocks, United States is reducing them.

He provided the insight on "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" as oil prices had continued to climb on Thursday with shipping and supply concerns brewing over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
USOUNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P.74.53-0.89-1.18%
BNOUNITED STS BRENT OIL FD LP UNIT30.67-0.93-2.94%

U.S. crude hit $113.06 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange early Thursday and later dropped to $109.84. Brent, the price basis for international oils, moved to $115.08 per barrel in London and later fell to around $113.

Russia's full-blown attack on Ukraine, which started last Thursday, could push energy prices even higher with many NATO countries such as Germany dependent on Russian oil to fuel their countries.

That dependence has limited the international response to Russia's invasion, with sanctions being specifically designed not to target Russian fuel exports amid fears such a move could send energy prices soaring in Europe.

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The Schork Group principal Stephen Schork initially predicted Brent crude will hit $116 per barrel this month and notes it only took a few days to hit that mark. 

Petrowski argued on Thursday that reducing U.S. oil production and exports drives up world oil prices, offering this as an explanation for why Brent Crude is "going higher, which is how most U.S. gasoline is priced."

In a series of orders aimed at combating climate change, President Biden temporarily suspended the issuance of oil and gas permits on federal lands and waters and canceled the Keystone XL oil pipeline project.

President Biden revoked the permit for the 1,700-mile pipeline on his first day in office, ending a project that was expected to employ more than 11,000 Americans last year.

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Biden has come under increasing pressure to walk back resistance to domestic oil production in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, arguing such a move would help the U.S. "regain our dominance on the world stage."

The 31 members of the International Energy Agency, the club of major oil consumers, agreed Tuesday to release 60 million barrels of crude from stockpiles.

"America will lead that effort, releasing 30 million barrels of oil Strategic Petroleum Reserve. We are prepared to do more united with our allies," President Biden said during the State of the Union address on Tuesday night. "These steps will help blunt gas prices here at home."

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In an all-encompassing interview with ‘Mornings with Maria,’ former President Trump reacts to President Biden’s State of the Union address, discusses oil prices and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

The announcement to release crude from stockpiles failed to calm concern about disruption in supplies from Russia, the second-biggest exporter behind Saudi Arabia.

Also, as President Biden and Europeans avoid removing Russian banks that deal in oil from the international SWIFT banking system, Republicans and Democrats in Congress are calling for an even more drastic move to ban Russian oil. 

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Republicans have been making similar comments for weeks. But some Democrats are now urging the administration to consider that course of action too, as Russian President Vladimir Putin's brutal assault on Ukraine intensifies. 

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Thursday said he has "many" co-sponsors from both parties on a bill he's introducing with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to ban Russian oil imports. He also upbraided administration officials for blocking increases in domestic energy production, including on natural gas in his state.

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The Biden administration has resisted calls both to increase domestic energy production and to block Russian oil. White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Wednesday, "Given high oil and gas prices… cutting off Russian oil/gas will drive prices up to Putin’s benefit."

Oil prices surge amid Russia, Ukraine conflict as US reduces oil stocks: Fmr. Gulf Oil CEO

Former Gulf Oil CEO Joe Petrowski says the Chinese are building oil stocks, while the U.S. is reducing them, a move that he warns happens before a military operation.

President Biden said Wednesday that "all options are on the table" when it comes to a Russian oil ban.

Some progressive Democrats are even open to the idea. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., told Fox News in a phone interview Thursday that the president should consider banning Russian oil. 

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FOX Business’ Ken Martin, Tyler Olson and Fox News' Kristina Biddle contributed to this report. 

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