Oil is calm: Prices stabilise following wild market swings on both benchmarks

 Oil prices remained stable on Thursday following wild swings on both major benchmarks over the past few months.

Brent Crude was down 0.35 per cent but remains trading at $81.90 per barrel, despite US-led commitments to flood the market with reserves.

WTI is also standing firm at $77.92 per barrel, a drop of only 0.47 per cent.

Oil prices have been difficult to forecast, with prices dropping and rising on a day-by-day basis amid macroeconomic drama such as soaring Covid cases in Europe, White House pledges to release oil reserves, and rocketing wholesale gas prices that have caused over 20 UK energy firms to cease trading.

In late October, prices rose to three-year-highs, reaching $86 per barrel in late October.

Prices then declined for four week in a row to the mid-seventies range, before picking up defiantly when the White House first hinted at releasing strategic reserves in the market.

Investors appeared unconvinced his pledge to release strategic reserves would counteract strong demand, constrained OPEC production, and ultra-high wholesale gas prices which have been driving the oil rallies.

They then dropped again amid concerns about lockdowns across Europe reducing consumption demand, before recovering for a second time despite reports of collective international action by the US, China, Japan, India, South Korea and UK to release reserves.

Earlier this week, the United States will sell 32m barrels of crude from four strategic petroleum reserve between-December and April 2022.

In the first auction of the coordinated release, 10m barrels will be auctioned in Texas, alongside 12m barrels in Louisiana.

.Companies are required to submit bids by December 6 and contracts will be awarded no later than December 14.


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