Oil prices remained over $70 mark after a sharp drop during the week as OPEC and OPEC+ agreed to increase oil production as of August and also due to the concerns that COVID-19 cases could hamper oil demand growth.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $73.59 per barrel at 07.30 GMT for a 0.27% loss after closing Thursday at $73.79 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was trading at $71.67 a barrel at the same time with a 0.36% fall after ending the previous session at $71.91 per barrel.
As the concerns over the economic growth outlook and oil demand continue due to the new wave of Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, oil prices managed to hold on to $70 mark ahead of the week closing although the prices dropped down to $68 level earlier in the week.
First found in India and reported to be more resistant to the existing vaccines, Delta has spread across 100 countries so far. The World Health Organization expects Delta to be the most dominant COVID-19 strain globally.
Rochelle Walensky, director for Centers for Disease and Prevention of the US, said in a press briefing that the US is at 'another pivotal moment' in the pandemic as COVID-19 cases increase in the unvaccinated parts of the country particularly Delta.
The prices were also negatively affected after the OPEC+ countries announced their decision to raise output by 400,000 barrels as of August, adding to the supply glut fears during the week but its impact remained limited.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya