Oil prices jumped on Friday after producer Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said it may review its policy to increase production at short notice if oil demand collapses due to the high number of pandemic lockdowns.
Brent crude rose 3.9% to $72.35 a barrel, although it is still on track to fall for the sixth consecutive week, US crude rose 3.7% to $68.97 a barrel.
OPEC+ surprised the market on Thursday when it stuck to its plans to add 400,000 barrels per day of supply in January.
“Producers left the door open for a swift policy change if demand struggles with measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus Omicron variant. They said they could meet again before their next meeting scheduled for January 4,” Reuters said.
“Brent jumped to $71 a barrel, which puts it above yesterday’s daily low by about $5. So what is the explanation? OPEC+ said it may reconsider yesterday’s decision shortly if market conditions change,” said Carsten Fritsch of Commerzbank.
At all levels, markets were affected all week due to the emergence of Omicron and speculation that it could trigger new shutdowns and reduce fuel demand.
“So far, we see no signs of weak demand globally,” JPMorgan analysts said in a note.