Posted in: 01/12/2021 – 20:20Last updated: 01/12/2021 – 20:18
London (AFP) - Oil prices, which have fluctuated a lot since the discovery of the mutant Omicron of the Corona virus, maintained a reasonable rise on Wednesday in a market awaiting the outcome of the two-day cycle of meetings of OPEC and its allies through the OPEC Plus alliance.
The price of a barrel of Brent, the benchmark for the North Sea, for February delivery, recorded around 16:45 GMT, an increase of 2.98%, to reach $71.29.
In New York, the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for January delivery rose by 2.84% to $68.06.
These two contracts, which lost more than 5% on Tuesday, are “recovering as major producers try to address the threat to hydrocarbon demand from the Omicron mod,” said Avtar Sandu, an analyst at Philips Futures.
The 13 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Saudi Arabia, held, on Wednesday, their first expected summit this week, via video link, without publishing any result at the end of it.
The decision that the markets are awaiting regarding the cartel’s production level will not be known at the beginning of next year, until the conclusion of the second summit Thursday, which will also be attended by his ten allies through the OPEC Plus, which is led by Russia.
RBC’s Helima Croft said it was “obvious that the emergence of the Omicron mutant and the ensuing decline in prices, increase the chances that OPEC Plus chose to keep stopping” the increase in production instead of increasing the 400,000 barrels per day as it has been doing monthly since May /Mayo.
The health restrictions imposed to counter the spread of the new mutated corona, whose degree of danger is not yet known, threatens the demand for black gold.
This strategy will also be an attempt to somehow reduce the price decline unfavorable to producers, which has reached more than 10% since Thursday evening and this despite the current improvement.
Investors also took note Wednesday of the state of crude oil inventories in the US last week.
The latter fell less than what analysts expected, according to figures published Wednesday by the US Energy Information Agency, by 900,000 barrels.
The market is also closely watching the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear file, which resumed Monday.
Iran, a historical producer within OPEC, has been excluded from the market since Donald Trump withdrew in 2018 from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal aimed at preventing Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
A possible lifting of sanctions could increase the cartel’s supply in a framework that has become increasingly uncertain in relation to demand.
© 2021 AFP
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