Oil prices fell on Friday (Dec. 31), following increases in recent days. The oil demand remains uncertain as on the one hand is reported that the Omicron variant should be less critical on the other hand give flight cancellations in the U.S. reason to think.
- Brent crude futures closed down $1.75, or 2.2%, at $77.78 a barrel.
- WTI crude futures fell $1.78, or 2.31%, to $75.21 a barrel.
Both contracts hit their 2021 highs in October, with Brent at $86.70 per barrel, its highest level since 2018, and WTI at $85.41 per barrel, its highest level since 2014.
Oil prices also stalled Friday due to rising COVID-19 patient counts. The new variant is spreading more and more around the world, which raises concerns about oil demand. Overreaction on the part of individual countries could lead to renewed restrictions.
U.S. health experts are reminding Americans to prepare for significant disruptions in the coming weeks. Infection rates are likely to rise as vacation travel increases.
With oil prices approaching $80, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Allies (OPEC+), may stick to its plans to increase supply by 400,000 bpd in February. The meeting will take place on January 4.
The Spot Market is Closed
Saturday, January 1, 2022