During a short squeeze on Wednesday, March 23, the price of crude oil futures shot up to a record-breaking price of $120 per barrel. Financial experts warn that this is just the beginning, and oil prices will one day stay above $120 per barrel for a long time.

Brent crude futures, one of several internationally recognized benchmarks for gauging the price of a barrel of crude oil, jumped by 4.6 percent during a short squeeze to $121.84 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the main benchmark used by the United States, also rose by 4.9 percent to $114.67 per barrel. 

The oil prices responded to data from the Energy Information Administration released on Wednesday that showed U.S. oil inventories dropped by 2.5 million barrels in the last week. This confirmed the fears of many financial analysts that the loss of Russian oil in the market and the resurgence in people traveling and using their vehicles more is resulting in America and other countries having less oil available in storage.

By the next day, oil prices pulled back slightly as Brent crude contracted by about three percent to settle at $118.01 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate lost more than two percent of its value, but remained above $112 a barrel.

Oil could soon reach $200 a barrel if restrictions on Russian oil continues

Many of the world’s most knowledgeable oil traders are predicting that the price of crude could soon climb beyond $200 a barrel this year, especially if the sanctions, embargoes and other restrictions placed on Russian oil exports continue and global oil importers are unable to find proper alternative sources of supply.

“We are not going back to normal business in a few months,” warned Pierre Andurand, a French hedge fund manager and an expert on the oil market. He warned that supplies of Russian oil in Europe are dwindling and President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is leading to lasting changes to the global energy market.

“I think we’re losing the Russian supply on the European side forever,” he added.

Other oil market analysts agree that it is unlikely Russian crude oil and refined products will be returning to the European market any time soon, even if Putin’s invasion of Ukraine ended tomorrow. Analysts believe the world will lose around three million barrels worth of Russian oil exports by April.

According to Doug King, head of investment firm RCMA Capital’s Merchant Commodity Fund, the massive loss in oil supply would push oil prices above $200, possibly even as high as $250 per barrel. “This is not transitory. This is going to be a crude supply shock,” he said.

Alok Sinha, global head of oil and gas for British financial services company Standard Chartered, agreed that this is unlikely to be a temporary problem. “You now have to deal with this as a long-term issue which means you need to find alternative supply growth.”

Daniel House, a senior crude oil trader for Socar, the American trading division of Azerbaijan’s national oil company, said the U.S. is unlikely to come to the rescue of the global oil market even if it pushes for production to go up. “[Even] if they wanted to speed up, it’s a 12-month process,” said House.

He added that some American producers may take even longer – possibly 18 months – to crank up oil production enough to help bring global prices down. “The cavalry is not coming as quickly as it did when we had previous incentives for them to grow.”

This video is from the Health Ranger Report channel on Brighteon.com.

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