Oil surged above $50 a barrel on Thursday for the first time since early March as hopes of a faster demand recovery after the release of Covid-19 vaccines offset a huge rise in US crude inventories that showed there was still ample supply available. Britain began vaccinations this week and they could start as soon as this weekend in the United States. Canada on Wednesday approved its first vaccine and said initial shots would be delivered starting next week. Brent crude was up $1.51, or 3%, at $50.37 a barrel, rising for a third day. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $1.46 cents, or 3.2%, to $46.98. Oil gained even after the latest weekly report on US oil inventories showed a massive, 15.2 million-barrel rise in crude stocks. Analysts had expected a 1.4 million-barrel drop. “The latest set of data has exceeded any bearish expectations,” said PVM oil broker Tamas Varga. “The stubbornness of oil bulls and their confidence in the positive economic impact of the vaccine roll-out are truly remarkable.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2020.