Oil prices were up on Monday due to supply disruptions in Libya and ahead of the meeting of producers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) on Tuesday when they will decide how much oil to pump in February.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at USD78.44 per barrel at 0656 GMT, up 0.84 percent from the previous session’s close of USD77.78.
The American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at USD75.86 per barrel at the same time, a 0.86 percent gain from the previous session’s trade closure of USD75.21 per barrel.
Oil prices started the new year on a positive note with Libya’s announcement on Saturday of production cuts of around 200,000 barrels of crude oil starting Tuesday due to maintenance on the main crude oil pumping line connecting the fields of Samah and Al.
It was good news for the oil market amid uncertainties from the omicron variant of Covid-19.
As the daily Covid-19 cases surpassed 345,000 in the US, the top infectious disease expert of the country, Anthony Fauci, warned of the danger of a surge in hospitalizations due to a large number of coronavirus cases, despite early data indicating that the omicron Covid-19 variant is less severe.
On Sunday, more than 3,600 flights were canceled around the world, more than half of which originated in the US. These cancelations added to the toll of Christmas travel disruptions caused by the omicron variant, according to a running tally on the tracking website FlightAware.com
More than 6,400 flights were delayed, including those that were delayed but not canceled.
Investors are also keeping an eye on the meeting of producers of the OPEC group and its allies, known as OPEC+, on Jan. 4. The group will determine whether or not to boost output by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in February.
In their previous meeting, OPEC+ producers agreed to adhere to the planned output scheme, despite calls from several countries, particularly the US, to increase supply.
Source: Philippines News Agency