COVID-19 vaccine hopes boost global crude oil prices to 8-month high

CRUDE oil prices rose globally to an eight-month high since March, following anticipation for the launch of a  COVID-19 vaccine which brightened chances of increased fuel consumption.

Nigeria’s crude oil equivalent, Brent crude price increased by more than 3 per cent to climb $47.82 per barrel rising by 78 cents. Western Trade International, WTI, Crude, the US crude equivalent also rose by 72 cents per barrel to settle at $45.66 per barrel from $44.91 per barrel.

This is prompted by a flurry of tenders from Chinese and Indian refiners seeking crude oil for January, the latest sign of roaring strength in Asian markets.

The last time WTTIl Crude traded at $45 per barrel was eight months ago, in early March this year, before Saudi Arabia and Russia disagreed on how to manage oil supply in the pandemic and started a brief oil price war that contributed to the price collapse together with the demand destruction.

    The global oil market now awaits the upcoming OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting on Dec. 1, which is expected to provide clarity over the OPEC+ alliance’s production plan going into 2021.

    Crude oil value has risen by more than a quarter this month as positive vaccine results. With the market’s prospects picking up, Brent crude could reach $60 a barrel by the summer of 2021, according to Bank of America Corporation.

    The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca recently announced that interim trial data from their Phase III trials confirms their candidate vaccine is effective at preventing COVID-19 and offers a high level of protection.

    Since the first announcement from Pfizer, the energy sector has been one of the biggest winners on the market, having been the worst hit when demand for crude oil initially crashed in the pandemic.

    Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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