OPEC+ gradually pump more oil amid omicron spike

January 04, 2022

VIENNA — OPEC and allied oil-producing countries decided on Tuesday to pump more oil to the world economy amid hope that travel and demand for fuel will hold up despite the rapid spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19.

The 23-member OPEC+ alliance led by Saudi Arabia and non-member Russia said it would add 400,000 barrels per day in February, sticking with a road map to slowly restore cuts in output made during the depths of the pandemic.

Oil prices plunged, and stocks slid in late November after the first reports about the ultra-contagious omicron variant. But prices have since recovered and markets calmed down.

Analysts say vehicle traffic and aviation activity suggest that omicron, while it is dominating headlines and raising concerns about hospital capacity, may wind up not drastically reducing demand for fuel. — Agencies

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