Oil prices fell by 3%, and remained below $ 80 a barrel, in light of European data that indicated a slowdown in the economic recovery.
The decline also comes at a time when investors see the possibility of the world’s major economies moving to withdraw from their strategic stocks of crude, to calm energy prices.
Brent crude futures fell $2.35, or 2.9 percent, to settle at $78.89 a barrel.
West Texas Intermediate crude futures for December delivery fell $2.91, or 3.6 percent, to $76.10 a barrel upon settlement.
And the price of crude contracts for January delivery fell $2.65, or 3.4%, to $75.78 a barrel.
The two benchmarks incurred losses for the fourth consecutive week, for the first time since March 2020.
Austria became the first country in Western Europe to completely re-impose a nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus this fall, with a new wave of infections across the region threatening to slow the economic recovery of recent months.
Germany, Europe’s largest economy, also said it may impose a general closure to combat COVID-19.
Brent crude has risen about 60% this year as economies recover from the pandemic and as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)and its allies, known as OPEC+, gradually increase production.
Governments of some of the world’s largest economies are considering drawing down strategic oil reserves at the request of the United States, in a coordinated move to cool oil prices.
The White House said that OPEC must meet global demand for oil with “adequate” supplies when it holds its next meeting on production policy on December 2.
Two informed sources said that the commitment of the OPEC+ group to oil production cuts amounted to 116% in October, up from 115% in September.
This indicates that the group continues to produce within the framework of the agreed goals.
The data showed that the compliance of OPEC members participating in the OPEC+ alliance rose from 115% in September to 121% in October, the highest level since May.
The compliance rate of non-OPEC producers was 106% in October, down from 114% in September.
OPEC+ has plans to increase its combined production by 400,000 barrels per day each month in light of a global economic recovery. OPEC+ ministers meet on a monthly basis to consider further steps.