Oil prices decreased slightly on Tuesday as the rising number of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases is affecting expectations of a smooth fuel demand recovery.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $42.48 per barrel at 0711 GMT for a 0.33% decrease after closing Monday at $42.62 barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $40.95 a barrel at the same time for a 0.27% decrease after ending the previous session at $41.06 per barrel.
Oil prices fell due to weak global oil demand concerns caused by the second wave of the outbreak, especially in Europe and North America.
Many European countries are tightening lockdowns to curb the spread of the virus, which is over now over 40.3 million, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University
While the world's largest oil consumer, the US, still tops the number of cases above 8.2 million as of Tuesday morning, India's cases now total over 7.5 million, and Brazil follows with over 5.2 million cases.
During a ministerial meeting on Monday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, collectively known as OPEC+, pledged to support the oil market, as concerns are mounting that growing infections will continue to weaken oil demand and as any plan to boost output from next year onwards would further reduce prices.
The OPEC+ group, which has curbed output since January 2017 to support prices, is now reducing production by 7.7 million barrels per day (mb/d), down from cuts totaling 9.7 mb/d imposed from May 1 to Aug. 1.
The plan of OPEC+ to reduce production cuts by a further 2 mb/d starting from next year, also negatively affects prices.
The group will meet between Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 to agree on a policy for 2021 onwards.
Moreover, increased production from Libya, which is excluded from the current output cut deal of the OPEC+, is putting pressure on oil prices by intensifying oversupply concerns.
Oil production in Libya, which has been interrupted since January due to conflicts in the country, restarted from its largest field Sharara on Oct. 11.
By Firdevs Yuksel