Oil prices turned down more than 1%, during trading today, Friday, with Brent crude falling below $ 79, but it is heading for its largest annual gain in 12 years, driven by the recovery of the global economy from the recession of Corona.
Oil prices ended Thursday’s trading on a high, as US crude continued to rise for the seventh consecutive session, with optimism about demand for crude.
Oil Prices Today
The prices of West Texas Intermediate crude futures – February delivery – decreased by 1.3%, recording $75.95 a barrel.
Brent crude futures prices – for March 2022 delivery – also fell by 1.2%, recording $78.61 a barrel, after they were near $80 earlier in the session.
Oil Prices In 2021
Brent crude is on track to end the year up 53%, while WTI is set for a 58% gain, the strongest performance of the two benchmarks since 2009, when prices rose more than 70%.
Both contracts peaked in 2021 in October, with Brent crude at $86.70 a barrel, the highest since 2018, and WTI at $85.41, the highest since 2014.
Global oil prices are expected to rise further next year as demand for jet fuel catches up.
“We’ve had a delta swing, omicron and all kinds of shutdowns and travel restrictions, but oil demand has remained relatively flat,” said Craig James, chief economist at Australian brokerage Comsec.
However, after rising for several consecutive days, oil prices halted gains in today’s session, with cases of corona rising and recording new epidemic levels around the world, from Australia to the United States, in conjunction with the rapid spread of the Omicron mutant.
American health experts have warned citizens to prepare for severe disruptions in the coming weeks, with infection rates likely to worsen amid increased holiday travel and New Year’s celebrations and the reopening of schools after the winter holidays.
In parallel, 4 sources told Reuters that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies from abroad led by Russia, in the alliance known as OPEC +, that with oil approaching $ 80, the alliance is likely to stick to the plan to add 400,000 barrels per day of supplies. in February during their meeting scheduled for January 4, as part of the plan to roll back sharp production cuts implemented in 2020.
“I think we’re going to see a lot of pressure on OPEC+, to make sure there’s enough oil supplied to the market,” James said.