Oil prices were trading up on Monday afternoon, even as news quickly spread in the market that the vessel that has blocked the Suez Canal for days had finally been freed.
The vessel known as the Ever Given had caused a major traffic jam in the Canal, which has held up oil tankers in the area for days.
Canal traffic is soon expected to be moving once again, but will take some time to clear the 360-strong backlog of vessels that has since accumulated in the narrow waterway that sees nearly 2 million barrels of crude oil pass through it every day.
Although there has been chatter among the backed up vessels that some of them may get moving as soon as today, according to the Wall Street Journal, oil prices remained up on the day, with the market now eyeing the upcoming OPEC+ decision, which most analysts expect will be to keep the current level of production quotas intact through May.
At least one crude oil powerhouse, however, may be expecting a decision that will allow it to increase its production. An anonymous Reuters source suggested on Monday that Russia would once again look for an increase for its own production—a concession it was granted last time, while every other member except for Kazakhstan had to keep their production steady.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE have both spoken out in favor of keeping oil production at their current levels for at least another month, with Saudi Arabia suggesting that caution is in order given the market’s volatility.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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