Crude oil prices fell 1% Friday as Russia said it needed more time before committing to additional production cuts sought by other members of Opec+, even as the coronavirus outbreak caused questions about global crude demand.
Oil prices posted their fifth straight weekly decline, as buyers have pulled back due to weaker consumption figures and expectations the coronavirus, which has killed more than 700 people, will remain a drag on demand.
Brent crude futures Friday lost 46 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $54.47 a barrel, Kallanish Energy reports. Brent dropped 6.3% for the week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 63 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $50.32/Bbl. The WTI contract lost 2.4% for the week.
Last week, a panel advising Opec+, which includes most Opec members plus 10 non-Opec producers led by Russia, suggested provisionally cutting output by 600,000 barrels per day (Bpd).
Currently, Opec+ is cutting 1.7 million barrels per day (Mmbpd), nearly 2% of global demand, through March. Another 600,000 Bpd would bring the total to 2.3 Mmbpd. On Friday, Russia Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Moscow needed more time to assess the situation.
Prices have fallen roughly 20% since the outbreak of the virus in the Chinese city of Wuhan, first reported on Jan. 31. China is the world’s biggest crude importer, taking in roughly 10 Mmbpd in 2019. Novak predicted global oil demand may fall by 150,000 to 200,000 Bpd in 2020, in part because of the virus.
Opec+ members are slated to meet in Vienna March 5-6, although the meeting could be earlier because of concerns surrounding the virus.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.