By Sibel Morrow
ANKARA (AA) - Oil prices saw much fluctuations and marginal increases in early trading on Friday, as a weaker US dollar supported upward price movements during market supply uncertainties ahead of the OPEC+ meeting next week.
International benchmark Brent crude traded at $87.45 per barrel at 10.12 a.m. local time (0712 GMT) for a 0.83% gain from the closing price of $88.18 a barrel in the previous trading session.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI), trading at $81.44 per barrel at the same time, increased 0.26% after the previous session closed at $81.23 a barrel.
In its last monthly oil market report, OPEC said oil consumption has rebounded from the lows of the pandemic, although higher prices and Chinese coronavirus outbreaks have trimmed 2022 projections.
Investors are awaiting the OPEC+ meeting on Oct. 5, when the group is expected to trim output in November in line with its demand forecast.
Contributing to supply uncertainty and price fluctuations, the EU sanctions on Russian oil will apply on Dec. 5 and refined product deliveries on Feb. 5.
Market players are monitoring how the current price caps on Russian oil exports and EU sanctions will alter the supply outlook.
- New EU sanctions
Further blurring the supply market, the EU proposed a new package of "biting" sanctions on Russia on Wednesday over its "escalation" in the ongoing Ukraine war, including an oil price cap.
The new package lays “the legal basis" for a Russian oil price cap for third countries, previously agreed by G7 countries, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
She said although the EU has banned seaborne Russian crude oil into the EU as of Dec. 5, some developing countries still need some Russian oil supplies at low prices.
"This cap will help reduce Russia’s revenues and keep global energy markets stable," the European Commission president said.
Rising geopolitical tension in eastern Europe is another factor that is overshadowing the supply outlook and leading to price fluctuations from sabotage on the Nord Stream pipelines that led to significant leaks into the Baltic Sea.
Four leaks in the Russian-owned Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines have been reported so far off the coast of Denmark and Sweden.
Denmark and Sweden and the EU reported that signs showed the leaks were the result of deliberate activity and not accidental.
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline has been offline since Aug. 31 as Russia stopped natural gas deliveries through the pipeline due to “maintenance work.”
Meanwhile, the rising value of the US dollar has been fueling price upticks for the whole week. However, the greenback lost 0.35% since the previous close but nonetheless maintained 20-year highs at 111.76.
When the dollar gains in value against other currencies, oil trade is discouraged as dollar-denominated oil is more expensive for buyers.