RIYADH: Oil extended gains on Monday, rising about 3 percent after China’s move to reopen its borders boosted the outlook for fuel demand and overshadowed global recession concerns.
Brent crude was up $2.55, or 3.25 percent, at $81.12 a barrel by 04.10 p.m. Saudi time, while US West Texas Intermediate crude rose $2.58, or 3.50 percent, to $76.35.
The rally followed a drop last week of more than 8 percent for both oil benchmarks, their biggest weekly declines at the start of a year since 2016.
Iraq’s Karbala refinery to begin production in mid-March: Minister
Iraq's oil minister Hayan Abdul-Ghani said that commercial production at the country's Karbala oil refinery will begin in mid-March, according to a statement cited by the Iraqi News Agency.
The INA report noted that the minister visited the refinery recently, and was briefed on samples of the products of the oil refinery.
During the visit, the oil minister elaborated that the products from the refinery include gasoline, kerosene and diesel.
The minister further pointed out that the output from the refinery will be gradually increased as it will open in mid-March, until the production reaches the maximum capacity, which is 140 thousand barrels per day, by the end of July.
US Department of Energy rejects initial bids to resupply oil stockpile
The US Department of Energy has rejected the first batch of bids from oil companies to resupply a small amount of oil to the nation’s emergency crude oil stockpile in February, according to a DOE spokesperson.
The DOE last month had said it would purchase up to 3 million barrels for delivery to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in February, the first buy since last year’s record 180-million-barrel release to tame US pump prices.
“Following review of the initial submission, DOE will not be making any award selections for the February delivery window,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
“DOE will only select bids that meet the required crude specifications and that are at a price that is a good deal for taxpayers,” the spokesperson said.
Details about the submissions were not available.
(With input from Reuters)