Crude oil prices eased slightly on Friday (Dec. 3) following concerns that the rise in coronavirus cases and new variants could reduce global oil demand.
Earlier in the day, oil prices rose by more than $2 per barrel after OPEC+ producers said they may review their policy to increase production in the short term if the number of pandemic closures increases, demand will fall.
Brent crude futures were up 21 cents, or 0.3%, at $69.88 a barrel.
WTI crude futures were down 24 cents, or 0.4%, at $66.26 a barrel.
Both contracts fell for the sixth consecutive week, which has not been the case since November 2018.
OPEC+ surprised markets last Thursday by announcing that they are sticking to their plans to increase supply by 400,000 barrels per day in January as well.
At the same time, OPEC+ is ready to quickly change its policy if demand is affected by the measures taken to control the spread of the Omicron virus. The next OPEC+ meeting will take place on January 4, 2022.
All week Omicron is putting pressure on the investment markets as there is speculation of a new shutdown.
Baker Hughes Co. announced that the number of oil rigs in the U.S. was unchanged this week. Most recently, the rig count had risen for five consecutive weeks, bringing the number to pre-pandemic levels.
There is nothing new in the negotiations between the West and Iran on the nuclear agreement. The outbreak of the Omicron variant did not allow for further negotiations, which means that no oil deliveries from Iran can be expected in the near future.
The Spot Market is Closed
Saturday, December 4, 2021