Oil prices up 88 cents, WTI up as winter storm hits both sides

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Oil prices up 88 cents, WTI up as winter storm hits both sides

The price of crude rose 88 cents, or 1.1%, to $81.86 a barrel by 0148 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 92 cents, or 1.2% higher, up 92 cents.

Russia's Baltic oil exports could fall by 20% in December from the previous month, after the European Union and G 7 nations imposed sanctions and a price cap on Russian crude from December 5, according to traders and Reuters.

Energy traders focus on Moscow's response to the price cap on Russian oil and not the thousands of flight cancellations that will disrupt holiday travel, according to OANDA analyst Edward Moya.

Over a two-day period, more than 4,400 U.S. flights have been cancelled due to the winter storm, coinciding with a holiday travel season that some predict could be the busiest ever.

As flights were scrapped, oil prices on both sides of the Atlantic settled lower on Thursday. The snow storm could lead to a reduction of gasoline consumption, and make it harder for drivers to travel during Christmas and New Year.

The extreme weather is expected to cause power outages, so heating oil demand could be boosted.

The Arctic storm will lead to many disappointed travellers but shows that we are closer to normal travel behaviours, Moya said.

Expectations of a rebound in oil demand at the world's No are supported by the fact that Brent and WTI are on track to make a second weekly gain. Concerns about further rate hikes worldwide and the recession curbing fuel consumption limited oil price gains, as well as a surge in COVID 19 cases in the mainland.

The oil market's biggest wildcard is China and optimism is strong that the reopening will lead to more demand, Moya said.