Oil prices on Tuesday recorded slight falls, as the recent vaccine euphoria was overshadowed by more restrictions and lockdowns in Europe.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $50 per barrel at 0658 GMT for a 0.58% decline after closing Monday at $50.29 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $46.75 per barrel at the same time for a 0.51% drop after it ended the previous session at $46.99 a barrel.
European countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, France, Greece, and the UK tightened restrictions while some announced long-term lockdowns to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Investors fear that renewed lockdowns and tighter restrictions will continue to keep demand weak although the UK, Canada and the US have already started mass vaccination campaigns.
Adding to the price declines, OPEC in its monthly oil report on Monday trimmed its oil demand for 2021 by 350,000 barrels per day, citing the persistent negative impact of the pandemic.
Political Risk and Oil Analyst Jose Chalhoub told Anadolu Agency that Brent oil started the week at over $50 a barrel, reflecting a slower but upward oil price push despite the many geopolitical risks at present, including the recent attack on an oil tanker, docked at the Saudi port city of Jeddah.
"It reminds us that the Persian Gulf remains a sensitive spot for global oil markets and that a minor incident can have an impact on oil prices," Chalhoub said.
By Sibel Morrow