Market prospects in the first half of 2021 remain ambiguous, while the global coronavirus situation remains unfavourable. Despite this, oil prices increased on the first working day of the New Year, Interfax reports.
The cost of March Brent oil futures on the London ICE Futures exchange on Monday amounted to $52.5 per barrel, which is $0.7 (1.35%) higher than the price at the previous session's close. As a result of trading on December 31, these contracts rose by $0.17 (0.3%) to $51.8 per barrel.
The price of February futures for WTI on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) by this time reached $49.15 per barrel, which is $0.63 (1.3%) higher than the level of the previous trading. Last Thursday, December 31, futures rose in price by $0.17 (0.3%) up to $48.52 per barrel.
Following the December meeting, the OPEC+ countries agreed on a gradual increase in oil production, sharply reduced last year. Thus, from January 1, OPEC+ will be able to increase oil production by a total of 500 thousand barrels per day. Simultaneously, the ministers decided to meet every month to make decisions on production levels depending on the market situation. Still, production can be increased by a maximum of 500 thousand bpd per month.
OPEC+ will decide on production levels in February on Monday. During a preliminary meeting on Sunday, representatives from several countries, including Saudi Arabia, expressed doubts about the need for a new increase in production in February, Bloomberg reported, citing meeting participants.