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U.S. waters down plan for Russia oil price cap – Bloomberg (NYSEARCA:USO)

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The U.S. has been forced to scale back a plan to impose a cap on Russian oil prices in the face of growing risks in financial markets brought on by crude volatility, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

Instead of imposing a strict lid on prices that would have been observed by a broad group of countries, the U.S. and European Union likely will settle for a looser cap at a higher price than once envisioned, with just countries in the G-7 and a few others committed to abide by it, according to the report.

An earlier U.S. plan championed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called for a price cap of $40-$60/bbl, which was intended to cut into Russia’s cash flow, but officials involved in the plans reportedly are considering a cap at the higher end of the range or above, despite concerns the plan would allow Russia to continue gaining sizable revenue from sales.

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Vladimir Putin has threatened not to sell oil to anyone who participates in a price cap, a threat U.S. officials once dismissed but now is increasingly seen as viable.

Doubts about a Russian oil price cap increased after OPEC+ announced its 2M bbl/day production cut; some U.S. officials believe the move undermines any price cap, and President Biden publicly accused Saudi Arabia of siding with the Kremlin.