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LONDON, Dec. 3 (Reuters) – Oil prices surged on Friday after producer group OPEC + said it could review its policy of increasing production in the short term if demand for oil slumps due to a growing number of pandemic blockages.
Brent crude rose 2.68 cents, or 3.9%, to $ 72.35 a barrel at 2:42 p.m. GMT, although it is still on track to fall for a sixth straight week. U.S. crude rose $ 2.47, or 3.7%, to $ 68.97 a barrel.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Russia and Their Allies, a group known as OPEC +, surprised the market Thursday by sticking to its plan to add 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) by January. Read more
“Its decision to continue increasing monthly crude production is a vote of confidence in the near-term demand outlook. Better said, OPEC + is banking that the new Omicron variant will not have a lasting impact. on oil demand, ”PVM said in a note.
But producers have left the door open for a rapid change in policy if demand suffers from measures to contain the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant. They said they could meet again before their next meeting scheduled for Jan.4.
“Brent climbed to $ 71 a barrel, putting it about $ 5 above yesterday’s daily low. So what’s the explanation? OPEC + has said it may reconsider the decision. yesterday in the short term if market conditions were to change, “said Carsten Fritsch of Commerzbank.
In addition, OPEC has struggled to follow through on its planned production increases. Read more
Asset markets have been disrupted all week by the emergence of Omicron and speculation it could trigger further lockdowns and reduce demand for fuel.
The World Health Organization urged countries to vaccinate their populations to fight the virus, saying travel restrictions were not the solution. Read more
For the week, Brent was poised to end down around 0.5%, down for a sixth consecutive week for the first time since November 2018. WTI was heading for a weekly rise of around 1. 4%, after five weekly decreases.
JPMorgan analysts said the fall in the market implied an “excessive” impact on demand, while global mobility data, excluding China, showed mobility continued to recover, averaging 93% of levels from 2019 last week.
“So far, we see no sign of weakening demand on a (a) global basis,” JPMorgan analysts said in a note.
Additional reporting by Roslan Khasawneh and Sonali Paul; Editing by David Evans and Edmund Blair
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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