Brent Crude, the worldwide standard for oil, has topped $120 per barrel, a two-month high, as gasoline and diesel prices continue to increase. The US oil benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, increased as well, hitting more than $116 a barrel.
With the start of the summer driving season and European leaders attempting to reach a deal on a Russian oil embargo, the price jump comes at a time when demand in the United States is projected to rise. Brent Crude last broke beyond $120 per barrel in late March, just before President Biden authorised the release of 1 million barrels per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for a six-month term.
In March, Biden signed an executive order prohibiting the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal, causing energy prices to rise. According to AAA, the national average gas price has risen to $4.62 a gallon. A year ago, the average petrol price was $3.00 per gallon. The relaxing of COVID-19 limitations in China, the start of the U.S. driving season, and interruptions caused by the crisis in Ukraine have all been blamed by economists for higher costs.