Oil prices edge up on hopes OPEC+ maintains supply curbs By

Darnell Taylor
November 17, 2020

The West Texas Intermediate for December delivery lost 99 cents to settle at 40.13 US dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for January delivery decreased 75 cents to close at 42.78 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

In the past few months, weak demand for fuel amid the pandemic has weighed on the global crude prices.

In Europe, Brent crude fell 75 cents, or 1.7%, to settle at $US42.78 a barrel.

For the week, WTI crude futures climbed 8.1 percent, while Brent gained 8.4 percent. U.S. oil rigs rose 10 to 236 this week, according to Baker Hughes data, their highest since May.

Reuters reported that Libyan oil production has risen to 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), up from the 1.0 million bpd as reported a week earlier by the country's National Oil Corp. United States natural gas futures edged up on Friday as exports continued to hit fresh record highs, and on forecasts for cooler weather and more heating demand in coming weeks.

Also pressuring prices, USA government data showed crude inventories rose by 4.3 million barrels last week.

Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is 94.5% effective
A key advantage of Moderna's vaccine is that it does not need ultra-cold storage like Pfizer's, making it easier to distribute. On Monday morning, their shares suffered marginally in pre-market trading, dipping by a little over 1 percent.

Oil prices jumped more than 4% on Monday, recouping the previous session's losses after Moderna Inc said its experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19.

Asian spot prices for LNG rose last week, against weak Chinese demand, record-high U.S. exports, and better production expectations in Malaysia.

Even with that development, though, oil demand remains shaky.

ANZ analysts are hopeful that the oil surplus will increase to 1.5 million and 3 million bpd in the first quarter of 2021 and a COVID-19 vaccine would increase demand in the second quarter.

And the OPEC cut its forecast for 2021 demand, saying consumption will rebound more slowly next year than previously thought because of the virus.

OPEC and allies led by Russian Federation, known as OPEC+, were due to raise output by 2 million barrels per day in January as part of a steady easing of record supply cuts.

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