As the conflict in Ukraine continues, the U.S. and its allies are expected to eventually impose a ban on oil imports from Russia in response to its actions. To offset the effects of such a ban, the U.S. is now actively looking to acquire oil from countries such as Venezuela and Iran.

White House officials are reportedly now exploring strategies to secure the country's oil security, including the easing or lifting of certain sanctions against Iran and Venezuela. However, concerns are still being raised if oil from those countries can really offset the loss from Russian imports.

Over the weekend, U.S. officials met with Venezuelan authorities in Caracas to discuss lifting sanctions with the aim of substituting Russian oil with Venezuelan petroleum at Gulf Coast refineries. Lifting sanctions on Venezuela might sever the country's connections with Russia, which has been the largest importer of Venezuelan crude oil since the country was sanctioned by the U.S. over President Nicolás Maduro's leadership in 2019.

Separately, the United States has been in discussions with Iran to resuscitate a nuclear deal in exchange for sanctions relief, and Tehran started that it believes a deal can be struck swiftly.

Last month, Brett McGurk, the country's Middle East and North Africa coordinator, and Amos Hochstein, a State Department special envoy for energy affairs, visited Saudi Arabia and discussed a variety of issues - including the possible supply of oi.

The U.S. has historically had strained and difficult relationships with all three countries, which have been accused of everything from election fraud to human rights violations in recent years. Biden labeled Saudi Arabia a "pariah" before taking office for its role in the death of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, and as president, he issued a U.S. intelligence report that accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of being involved.

In December, the U.S. imposed penalties on a dozen Iranian officials and businesses accused of human rights violations, including suppressing demonstrators and political activists and imprisoning them in deplorable conditions.

On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki addressed questions regarding the administration's plans of importing oil from countries that may have engaged in "unsavory actions in the past."  Psaki said the U.S. was in a "tricky situation" given the growing call to ban Russian oil. She added that such a move would threaten the country's oil security and upend markets that are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.