Oil loses more than 1.8% of its value at the beginning of the last session of the year

Crude prices fell on Friday but were poised to post their biggest annual gains since at least 2016, buoyed by the global economic recovery after the Covid-19 crash and containment by producers, even despite rising infections. all-time highs around the world.

Crude futures Brent fell 1.31 dollars, 1.7%, at $ 78.20 a barrel, and West Texas Intermediate oil futures in the United States (WTI) were down $ 1.41, 1.83%, at 75.56 dollars a barrel.

Brent is on track to close the year up nearly 52%, its biggest advance since 2016, while WTI is heading for a 56.5% gain, the highest return for the benchmark contract since 2009, when prices more than 70 percent shot up.

Both contracts hit their 2021 high in October, with Brent at $ 86.70 a barrel, the highest since 2018, and WTI at $ 85.41, its highest since 2014. Prices are expected to continue rising next year, as the demand for jet fuel catches up.

“We have had delta and Omicron and all kinds of closures and travel restrictions, but the demand for oil has remained relatively strong. This can be attributed to the effects of stimuli that support demand and supply restrictions,” he said Craig James, chief economist at Australian brokerage CommSec.

After rising for several days in a row, crude prices fell on Friday, at a time when Covid-19 cases have exploded and are already hitting new pandemic highs around the world, from Australia to the United States, fueled by the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Production disruptions in Nigeria and Ecuador weighed on prices.

Now that oil is hovering around $ 80, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and its allies, a group known as OPEC +, are likely to stick with their plan to add 400,000 barrels a day of supply in February when they meet on January 4. , according to four sources.


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