War in Ukraine could disrupt natural gas flowing from Russia to Europe, she acknowledged. In anticipation, she said, “we are engaging our European allies to coordinate response planning, including how to deploy their existing energy stockpiles. We have been working to identify volumes of non-Russian natural gas from North Africa and the Middle East to Asia and the U.S.”
The Kremlin has repeatedly denied it is planning an invasion, though it has massed about 130,000 troops as well as tanks, artillery and other equipment on Ukraine’s borders. Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded that NATO end its expansions and roll back forces deployed in former Soviet states.
The United States has imposed sanctions on several oil-producing adversaries, adding to the constraints on domestic supply. Sanctions on parts of Russian oil sector have been in place since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Buying from Iran has been restricted since the 1980s and Venezuela came under pressure in 2019.
In the past, State Department officials have worked with members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to boost supply to cope with reduced volume from sanctioned nations.