Oil prices mixed, US crude drops after COVID-19 flight cancellations
Oil production in Azerbaijan
Vostok | Getty Images
Oil prices were mixed on Monday, with Brent rising slightly as U.S. crude futures fell after airlines canceled thousands of flights to the United States over the Christmas holidays amid soaring prices. COVID-19 infections.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 41 cents, or 0.6%, to $ 73.38 a barrel at 12:53 a.m. GMT. The contract was not negotiated on Friday as US markets were closed for the Christmas holidays.
Brent crude rose 40 cents, or 0.5%, to $ 76.54 a barrel after leveling off at 0.92% on Friday.
Both contracts jumped 3% to 4% last week after first data suggested the Omicron variant of COVID-19 could cause a milder level of illness.
However, the highly transmissible variant is increasing the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide.
In the past three days, thousands of passengers traveling over Christmas have been stranded after U.S. airlines canceled flights due to staff shortages linked to COVID.
In Europe, natural gas prices hit record highs last week due to tight supply, supporting Brent crude prices.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the European Union could only blame its own policies for the record gas prices, saying some of its members were reselling cheap Russian gas at much higher prices within the bloc.
Looking ahead, oil investors are focusing on the next OPEC + meeting on January 4.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC and its allies, including Russia, known as OPEC +, will meet to decide whether to increase production by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in February.
Russia believes oil prices are unlikely to change significantly next year, with demand only returning to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday. .