Oil Prices Fall To Lowest Level In A Year On China Concerns

The price of crude oil has plunged to its lowest level in a year as a growing number of COVID-19 lockdowns and civil unrest in China dampens global energy demand.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil, the U.S. standard, fell below $74 U.S. a barrel, adding to three weeks of mounting losses.

The price of Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, declined to $81 U.S as protests in China over the country’s zero-COVID policy threaten to hurt demand in the world's largest importer of energy products.

Prices for crude oil are now at their lowest level since December 2021. Earlier this year, crude oil was trading as high as $120 U.S. per barrel.

In addition to a slowdown in China, traders are also concerned about an impending price cap on Russian crude oil that’s about to be implemented by the European Union.

The OPEC+ cartel is scheduled to meet on December 4 to decide its next output level.

At the same time, the U.S. has approved Chevron’s (CVX) application for a license to resume oil production in Venezuela after sanctions had halted all drilling activities in that country three years ago.

A resumption of drilling in Venezuela is expected to increase the U.S. oil supply in the coming year, a development that could push crude prices down further.