Oil prices slip as rising coronavirus cases stoke demand concerns

OPEC fears that a second wave of the virus will lead

OPEC fears that a second wave of the virus will lead

Brent crude futures for December delivery were up 49 cents, or 1.18%, at $42.94 a barrel by 10:30 a.m. EDT (1429 GMT).

At the time of writing both major crude oil benchmarks, which include Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate futures traded above $40/Barrel. "Truly, those wishing to bring about a tighter oil market are looking at a moving target".

Perhaps we saw an overreaction to the IEA report on Wednesday.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due to release its weekly data on Thursday, a day later than normal following a public holiday. "Therefore, despite the initial enthusiasm, we find that the uptick in oil prices today is unjustified".

Global oil stocks which rose during the height of the pandemic are being steadily reduced, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday, but a second wave is slowing demand and will complicate efforts by producers to balance the market.

But under a "delayed recovery scenario", it said the energy demand recovery is pushed back to 2025.

OPEC and producer allies such as Russian Federation, a group known as OPEC+, will stick to their plans to taper oil production cuts from January, Suhail al-Mazrouei, the energy minister of the United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday.

Social restrictions were being tightened in Britain and the Czech Republic to battle rising cases of COVID-19, and French Prime Minister Jean Castex said he could not rule out local lockdowns.

Hurricane Delta, which inflicted the biggest blow in 15 years to energy production in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico last week, was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone at the weekend.

Production in Libya, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), is expected to rise to 355,000 barrels per day (bpd) after force majeure at the Sharara oilfield was lifted on Sunday. Still, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said on Tuesday that, for now, the group plans to proceed with the supply boost as scheduled.

Libya's total output on Monday was expected to hit 355,000 bpd while a full return of the 300,000 bpd Sharara field would almost double that.

However, Colonial Pipeline, the largest oil products pipeline in the United States, shut its main distillate fuel line after the hurricane disrupted power, the company said on Sunday.

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