Oil prices have today increased due to short-covering and hopes for greater output cuts by oil-producing countries, despite continuing coronavirus fears.

Reuters reported that Brent crude rose $0.33 to $55.28 per barrel while US West Texas Intermediate crude gained $0.41 to $50.31 a barrel.

The news agency said investors covered short positions after three trading sessions of losses, while eyeing potential supply cuts.

Meanwhile, Libya’s National Oil Corporation confirmed a sharp decline in production due to an ongoing blockade of its ports and pipelines by internal factions.

As of 23 February 2020, the existing level of production is 122,430 barrels per day. The forced restriction of production has led to financial losses of over $2.1bn since 24 January 2020.

Libya is a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Next month, OPEC will meet in Vienna, Austria, to discuss difficulties with allies including Russia, in a grouping known as OPEC+.