Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

Get Ready for $150 A Barrel Oil This Summer

By Gregory Brew

08 Jun 2022 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

Foreign Policy reports on the price of oil which, despite all measures, only seems to be going one way - up.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world faces a historic energy crunch. Gas prices in the United States hover at $5 per gallon, while energy costs in Europe remain prohibitively high. The Biden administration has pulled out all the stops, releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and pleading with Saudi Arabia to increase production. In early June, Riyadh relented and announced it would boost output in July and August.

But this is cold comfort to consumers. The price of oil has not declined. In fact, it will likely rise, topping $150 per barrel by the end of September—a price that hasn’t been seen since 2008. Short of imposing an economic recession or mandating major cuts to consumption through a pandemic-style lockdown, there is little the Biden administration can do to avoid the coming price shock. There are four reasons for this.

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