Oil prices jumped by almost 10 percent yesterday for its biggest daily gain in more than six months after Pfizer announced promising results for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate and Saudi Arabia said an OPEC+ oil output deal could be adjusted to balance the market.
Pfizer and BioNTech had said yesterday that a vaccine they jointly developed is 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in the ongoing phase 3 trials.
The message of hope instantly drew applause from the world audience, bringing the United States President, Mr. Donald Trump, and the President-elect, Mr. Joe Biden, to their first convergence in recent months, as both congratulated Pfizer on its scientific trial.
President Muhammadu Buhari also waded in, welcoming the development and expressing the hope that the vaccine would be available for all when it finally hits the market.
America’s Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, will produce 1.3 billion doses of the vaccines for 650 million people by the end of 2021.
While the global benchmark, Brent crude, was up $3.37, or 8.5 percent, to $42.82 a barrel, the US West Texas Intermediate crude was up $3.54, or 9.5 percent at $40.68.
Both contracts rose by more than $4 earlier in the session.
Nigeria’s 2021 budget was predicated on an oil price of $40 per barrel and daily production of 1.86 million barrels.
Reuters quoted analysts as saying that “in the eyes of oil traders, a vaccine will help ensure no future lockdowns are needed and will bring people back to the streets, allowing road and air transport to recover.”
Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, also said the OPEC+ deal on oil output cuts could be adjusted if there was consensus among members of the group.
The Saudi minister was commenting after being asked whether OPEC+ – which groups OPEC states, Russia, and other producers – would stick to existing cuts of 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) rather than easing them to 5.7 million bpd from January.