Oil prices fell on Friday and also recorded a weekly loss, as the increase in cases of the mutated Omicron strain of the Corona virus raised fears of new restrictions that harm the demand for fuel, according to “Reuters”.
Bob Yuger, director of energy futures contracts in Mizuho, New York, said:There are fears that will not go away about CovidAnd the perception that could affect demand puts pressure on the market.”
Brent crude futures ended the session down $1.50, or 2%, to $73.52 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude fell $1.52, or 2.1%, to $70.86 a barrel.
Brent fell 2.6% on a weekly basis, and WTI fell 1.3%.
The number of new cases of Omicron in Denmark, South Africa and Britain doubles every two days. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said her government would propose new restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.
In the United States, the rapid spread of Omicron has prompted some companies to halt plans to return workers to the workplace.
The number of US oil rigs, one of the most important indicators of production, rose throughout the week, raising fears of a possible increase in supplies.
Energy services firm Baker Hughes said in its closely watched report that the number of oil and gas rigs, an early indicator of future production, rose three to 579 in the week ending Dec. 17.