Crude oil prices (November 21)

A refinery in the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Ike approached in 2008, as fears grow over the toll of Hurricane Laura. Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters

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SULAIMANI — Crude oil prices were up on Saturday (November 21) compared with the previous day.

The price of Brent crude was at $44.96 up from $44.37 and US WTI crude was at $42.42 up from $41.69.

The likelihood of an effective COVID-19 vaccine and hopes that OPEC and its allies would keep production under check has bolstered the oil markets this week, according to Reuters.

The oil markets have trimmed their weekly gains “as virus surge throws a wet blanket over vaccine optimism,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at Axi, Reuters reported.

“But it is all down to OPEC. No formal decision will be taken before the full OPEC+ ministerial meeting at the end of this month.”

OPEC+, a grouping that includes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers, will discuss its output policy at a meeting on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, according to the news agency.

Although the persistent rise in COVID-19 cases continues to cast doubts on demand recovery, Brent spreads in 2021 have narrowed significantly as demand from Asia has been strong and markets remained hopeful that OPEC and its allies could extend their output cuts.

(NRT Digital Media/ Additional Reporting By Reuters)