Energy & Commodities

Oil Rallies As White House Considers Ban On Russian Oil Imports

  • WTI crude rose 7% following the news that the White House is considering a ban on the import of Russian crude oil.
  • On Thursday, the White House had tersely dismissed the idea of banning Russian crude oil imports.
  • On Friday afternoon, the White House’s take on banning Russian crude oil softened. Oil prices continue to inch higher, with new reports that the White House is considering a ban on Russian crude oil.

At 3:01 pm ET, WTI crude had risen to $115.20 per barrel, up nearly 7% on the day and up more than $20 on the week. Brent crude was trading at $117.70, up 6.58% on the day and up more than $19 on the week.

On Thursday, the White House had tersely dismissed the idea of banning Russian crude oil imports, pointing out that doing so could cause oil and gasoline prices to rise even more than they already had.

But other U.S. lawmakers have pushed for a full ban, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

On the other hand, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki downplayed the role Russian crude oil plays in the United States, adding that it only makes up 10% of the total crude oil that the United States imports…read more.

  • Kremlin officials told the Russian outlet Agency they didn’t know Putin was going to invade Ukraine.
  • Sources said the Kremlin prepared for smaller sanctions over its recognition of Luhansk and Donetsk.
  • “Everything is fucked,” a source close to Putin’s administration told Agency.

Kremlin officials say they didn’t know Russian President Vladimir Putin would invade Ukraine, and were shocked by the severity of Western sanctions imposed upon it, the independent Russian investigative outlet Agency reported.

One unnamed senior official said people in the Kremlin “did not know” that it would be an all-out invasion and that many were shocked when news of the military assault broke, the outlet said.

In the run-up to the invasion, Putin’s cabinet had only prepared to deal with Western sanctions introduced over Russia’s decision to recognize the independence of the Ukrainian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk on February 21, not for an invasion, a source close to Putin’s administration told Agency.

After Russia invaded, countries including the US and UK, as well as the EU, sanctioned Russian entities and individuals, seizing assets belonging to those closest to Putin and ejecting Russian banks from the SWIFT global financial system…read more.

No gas-tax relief ahead for British Columbians facing skyrocketing prices: Horgan

Premier John Horgan said Thursday that taxes on gasoline won’t be changing anytime soon amid surging prices brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

His position echoed that of B.C. Energy Minister Bruce Ralston, who said earlier in the week the province would not delay the province’s one-cent carbon tax hike due to go into effect April 1.

“I’m not passing the buck when I say that the federal government has a climate action plan, as does the province of British Columbia, and pricing carbon is a key component of that,” Horgan said during a media briefing.

“It may be easy for [opposition] politicians to declare that taxes are the problem, but those taxes go to building our roads, to providing transit to making sure that our infrastructure is as modern as it can be.”

Prices in Metro Vancouver have been climbing towards $2 a litre over the past week amid heavy sanctions targeting Russia.

Earlier in the day BC Liberal Party Leader Kevin Falcon said the government had a tool for lowering taxes for British Columbians as carbon taxes on gasoline go up – revenue neutrality – but pointed out that the NDP government scrapped the revenue neutrality requirement of B.C.’s carbon tax…read more.

Vancouver’s most expensive condo goes on the market for $49m

In what is considered the largest and most expensive oceanfront condominium currently listed in Vancouver, a penthouse at the Three Harbour Green in Coal Harbour has just hit the market at an asking price of $49 million. Listing agency is Macdonald Realty of Vancouver.

Built in 2012 and totally renovated, the penthouse covers nearly 13,000 square feet on three levels, including 4,700 square feet of functional outdoor space on a balcony and two rooftop terraces.

Downstairs, a seven-car private garage and three high-security rooms provide ample storage space.

A 24/7 concierge team and grand lobby to welcome guests complete the experience, according to Macdonald’s listing material.

“This is an opportunity you simply won’t find anywhere else in Vancouver,” said listing agent Juliana Jiao…read more.

Ukraine said it will soon announce NFTs as part of its crypto fundraising efforts.
The country has already raised more than $50 million in crypto to help its armed forces against Russia.
In announcing the NFTs, Ukraine canceled a planned crypto airdrop.

Ukraine’s vice prime minister announced on Twitter the country would soon release NFTs to help raise funds for its defense against Russia’s invasion.

In a tweet, Mykhailo Fedoro, who is also the country’s minister of digital transformation, said, “we will announce NFTs to support Ukrainian Armed Forces soon.”

The announcement, which came as Fedoro canceled a planned crypto airdrop, is the country’s latest attempt to raise money through digital tokens.

To date, Ukraine has raised more than $50 million worth in cryptocurrencies, according to data from Elliptic. The tens of thousands of donations included a $200,000 CryptoPunk NFT and a $5.8 million gift from Polkadot founder Gavin Wood. Donors have been sending crypto in the form of bitcoin, ether, and polkadot, and even meme tokens like dogecoin and digital pieces of art known as NFTs…read more.