Oil prices were lower on April 19 as rising coronavirus infections in India and other countries prompted concerns that stronger measures to contain the pandemic will hit economic activity, along with demand for commodities such as crude.
Brent crude was down 17 cents, or 0.3%, at $66.60/bbl by 0643 GMT, after rising 6% last week. WTI in the U.S. was down 10 cents, or 0.2%, at $63.03/bbl, having gained 6.4% last week.
“The progress of vaccination drives in the developed markets can be seen in road traffic levels, but resurging case numbers have reversed the recovery in the emerging countries,” such as India and Brazil, ANZ Research said in a report on April 19.
India reported a record rise in coronavirus infections of 273,810 on April 19, increasing overall cases to just over 15 million, making the country the second-worst affected after the U.S., which has reported more than 31 million infections. India's deaths from COVID-19 rose by a record 1,619 to nearly 180,000.
Hong Kong will suspend flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines from April 20 due to imported coronavirus infections, authorities said in a statement on April 18.
In Japan, which has had far fewer COVID-19 cases than other top economies, companies there will be a fourth round of infections, with many bracing for a further blow to business, a Reuters monthly poll showed.
Japan’s oil imports in March fell 17% from a year earlier to 2.5 million barrels a day, official data showed on April 19.
In the U.S., energy companies added oil and natural gas rigs for a fifth consecutive week for the first time since February as higher oil prices this year encouraged drillers to return to the wellpad.
Mark Gordon, Wyoming’s governor, said the U.S. Interior Department’s moratorium on issuing new permits to drill for oil and gas on public land under its control would “send capital elsewhere.”
The acquisition of Jagged Peak will more than double Parsley Energy’s position in the Delaware Basin, where the companies expect to generate G&A savings of about $25 million within the first year.
Denbury Resources and Penn Virginia mutually agreed to terminate their merger after the $1.7 billion cash-and-stock transaction faced difficult market conditions and shareholder opposition.