By Low De Wei and Alex Longley
Oil has rebounded from a plunge below zero in April as record output cuts from OPEC+ help rebalance the market. But some are predicting a long recovery from the pandemic, with Standard Chartered Plc estimating oil consumption next year at 2017 levels, meaning the virus would have destroyed the intervening years of growth. Though the global Brent benchmark has more than doubled from its lows, prices have struggled to make further gains.
“It seems that finding further momentum to extend the rally is very difficult,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “The threat of more new lockdowns will continue to prevent oil prices to rally further.”
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Crude exports from OPEC member Libya remain constrained by persistent unrest. A paramilitary force charged with safeguarding the nation’s oil ports blocked attempts on Wednesday to load a tanker with crude, ignoring appeals by the state-run energy company.