Brent Crude Jumps to Highest Since 2008 as West Mulls Ban on Russian Oil

Oil prices rose further on Monday, hitting the highest since 2008 even as the West is considering a boycott of Russia's oil and gas over the Ukraine war.

At the start of trading on Monday, the international benchmark of Brent crude hit $139.13 a barrel, a jump of over $20 on Friday's close of $118.03.

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Possible Sanctions Against Russian Oil

The jump in oil and gas prices came after the US and European countries revealed that they are discussing a possible boycott of oil and associated products from Russia.

The move is aimed to harm Moscow's finances as Russia is the world's third-largest crude producer. Despite various sanctions, the West has failed to stop the Kremlin's attacks against Ukraine.

The West's idea of imposing a block on Russian oil pressured the European natural gas prices which also witnessed hikes.

Oil Prices to Surge Further

In July 2008, the Brent crude had reached $147.50. But experts believe that in the current scenario of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the recent oil prices could surpass the price of $147.50.

Meanwhile, experts have speculated that due to the surge in the Kremlin's attacks on Ukrainian cities, sanctions against Russia's oil are possible very soon.

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Chief economist at the insurer Allianz, Mohamed El-Erian, said that it appeared likely that the new sanctions would be imposed given Kremlin's attacks against Ukraine. "It's hard to see such sanctions not being imposed given the atrocities being committed against Ukraine."

Ethan Harris, Bank of America chief economist, said cutting off most of Russia's energy exports would be a "major shock to global markets", adding that the loss of Russia's 5m barrels could see oil prices double to $200 a barrel, according to The Guardian.

The surge in the oil prices came as it was revealed that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Western allies were discussing a blockade on Russia's oil and associated products. Much of Europe and the US have been dependent upon the Russian energy supplies.