399 views | Akanimo Sampson | May 19, 2021
Oil prices appear to be tumbling again after reports indicate that virus caseloads are making a strong comeback in Asian countries.
As a result, it is dousing positive projection from the International Energy Agency (IEA).
In many Asian countries, fear of slower than expected economic and global oil demand recovery will keep prices down this week, some analysts say.
Disturbingly, this is coming at the time when the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) are pushing for gradual increase in output.
In the oil market, the international benchmark Brent crude settled at $68.61 per barrel after it shed 0.14% from its Friday closing price of $68.71 a barrel.
Also, the American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $65.33 per barrel at the same time after falling 0.04% from its previous closed session at $65.36 a barrel.
“Oil price declines were mainly driven by blurred outlooks for economic and oil demand recovery in Asia-Pacific countries, including India, Japan, and Taiwan, which have been plagued by slow progress on vaccinations to deal with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic”, oil traders said.
Recent reports indicate that Taiwan and Singapore recorded surging COVID-19 infections and India continues to reel under a deadly second wave.
According to the US-based Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Bangladesh has reported 779,796 COVID-19 infections with 12,124 deaths.
Data from the world heath indicates that the country has so far fully vaccinated 3.65 million people, equivalent to 2.24% of its population.
Taiwan, one of the most successful countries at controlling COVID-19, imposed stringent social distancing measures for two weeks, as it reported more than 200 new cases in its first significant outbreak of the virus.
As infections continue to rise ahead of the Summer Olympics in Japan, tougher measures against the virus were implemented on Sunday in six prefectures.
Hokkaido, Okayama, and Hiroshima have joined Tokyo and five other prefectures in declaring a state of emergency until May 31, while partial emergency measures covering seven prefectures has been extended to include Gunma, Ishikawa, and Kumamoto until June 13.
Hokkaido, Okayama, and Hiroshima joined Tokyo and five other prefectures in declaring an emergency until May 31, while partial emergency measures affecting seven prefectures were extended to include Gunma, Ishikawa, and Kumamoto until June 13.
Colonial Pipeline resumes oil flow following a cyber attack. As the US’s largest oil pipeline network recovered from a devastating cyber-attack, gasoline shortages on the East Coast began to ease on Sunday.
The almost 9,000-kilometer-long pipeline had been temporarily suspended in early May and began pumping oil again on Thursday. However, the disruption caused gasoline shortages that affected hundreds of gas stations around the country.