WTI Crude oil edged above $81 per barrel on Monday after OPEC+ decided to maintain production at current levels as more Western sanctions on Russian oil are set to kick in, while easing Covid curbs in China buoyed the demand outlook.
OPEC+ decided to stick to their existing policy of reducing oil output by 2 million barrels a day from November through 2023, as the group took stock of market developments. The European Union is set to ban most seaborne Russian oil imports from Monday, while the G7 agreed to impose a cap of $60 per barrel on Russian crude.
Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak condemned the cap and said that Russia was willing to cut output if needed. On the demand side, more Chinese cities including Shanghai and Hangzhou have dialed back Covid restrictions over the weekend, raising hopes that authorities are directing the country toward economic reopening that could boost energy demand.