Brent nears $75 as crude oil prices continue uptrend


Crude oil prices continued rallying on Tuesday as concerns about impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant on fuel demand eased. At 1245 hours GMT, Brent, the international benchmark for two-thirds of the world’s oil, gained $1.84 (+2.59 percent) to reach $74.92 a barrel. Similarly, the US WTI price reached $71.57 a barrel, up by $2.08 (+2.99 percent).
The price for Opec Basket was recorded at $71.61 a barrel with an increase of 2.26 percent, Arab Light was available at $75.19 with 3.44 percent increase, and the price of Russian Sokol reached $74.91 with an increase of 3.37%. Oil prices also climbed by nearly 5 percent on Monday last on hopes the Omicron coronavirus variant would have a less damaging economic impact if its symptoms proved mostly mild and as some OPEC member countries signalled confidence in the market. The Saudi Arabia on Sunday raised January’s official selling prices for all crude grades sold to Asia and the United States by up to 80 cents from the previous month.
Prices were also buoyed by diminishing prospects of a rise in Iranian oil exports after indirect US-Iranian talks on saving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal broke off last week. The talks, which were expected to resume middle of this week, have been stalled.
Earlier last week, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and key allies, known as OPEC+, decided to stick with plans to increase supply in January by 0.4 million barrels per day despite a recent plunge in prices driven by fears of a new glut. The OPEC+ said it would continue to take stock of the pandemic, monitor the oil market closely, and stand ready to make “immediate adjustments if required.” It has scheduled its next meeting for January 4. The meeting reaffirmed the continued commitment of the participating countries in the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) to ensure a stable and balanced oil market.