MOSCOW (MRC) - Oil prices climbed by nearly 5% on Monday 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 signaled confidence in the market, reported Reuters.
Reports in South Africa said Omicron cases there had only shown mild symptoms and the top US infectious disease official, Anthony Fauci, told CNN "it does not look like there's a great degree of severity" so far.
The White House said on Monday that the US ban on foreign nationals entering the country from eight southern African countries is something President Joe Biden's public health advisers reconsider daily.
Brent crude rose USD3.20, or 4.6%, to settle at USD73.08 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose USD3.23, or 4.9%, to settle at USD69.49 a barrel.
Last week, both benchmarks fell for a sixth week in a row.
"All the headlines are bullish today," said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group. "The momentum seems to be jumping back in."
Global benchmark Brent has risen 38% this year, supported by output curbs led by the OPEC+ group of producers, though it has fallen from a three-year high above USD86 in October.
Iraq's Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar said he expects oil prices to reach over USD75, state news agency INA reported. He added that OPEC is trying to "positively contain" the energy market, INA said.
On Sunday, Saudi Arabia raised January official selling prices for all crude grades sold to Asia and the United States by up to 80 cents from the previous month.
The OPEC+ group, comprising the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, last week decided to continue increasing monthly supply by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in January, even after a slide in prices driven by Omicron concerns.
Oil was 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.
We remind that, as MRC informed before, earlier this month, TotalEnergies and Daimler Truck AG signed an agreement on their joint commitment to the decarbonization of the road freight in the European Union. The partners will collaborate in the development of ecosystems for heavy-duty trucks running on hydrogen, with the intent to demonstrate the attractiveness and effectiveness of trucking powered by clean hydrogen and the ambition to play a lead role in kickstarting the rollout of hydrogen infrastructure for transportation.
We also remind that TotalEnergies has recently inaugurated the extension of Synova in Normandy, the French leader in recycled polypropylene (PP) production. TotalEnergies is therefore doubling its mechanical recycling production capacity for recycled polymers, to meet growing demand for sustainable polymers from customers, such as Automotive Manufacturer (Auto OEM) and the construction industry.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,138,510 tonnes in January-September 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) decreased significantly.