Oil rises as fears of lower demand due to Omicron ease

Oil rises as fears of lower demand due to Omicron ease
Oil rises as fears of lower demand due to Omicron ease

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Oil prices rose in a session that witnessed limited trading on Thursday, supported by indications that the worst repercussions of the Omicron could be contained, even as countries imposed travel restrictions due to high infection rates.

The oil market has witnessed fluctuations in recent days amid questions about the seriousness of the risk of another stagnation in demand for fuel. The Omicron strain spreads faster than previous strains, but preliminary data indicates that it causes milder symptoms.

Brent crude futures, the international standard, rose $1.56, or 2.1 percent, to settle at $76.85 a barrel, the highest closing level since November 26, an increase of 4.5 percent during the week.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose $1.03, or 1.4 percent, to $73.79 a barrel upon settlement, rising 4.1 percent during the week.

Trading volume was limited on Thursday, with only 244,000 contracts being traded for the next month, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, compared to a daily average of 381,000 contracts over the past 200 days.

According to data from Baker Hughes Energy Services, the number of oil and natural gas rigs operating in the United States rose last week to its highest level since April 2020. The total number of rigs now stands at 586, which predicts an increase in production in the coming months.

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