Oil prices are softer as of Thursday morning, reversing gains from earlier in the week, amid enhanced global restrictions from the omicron variant as well as concern regarding its subsequent impact on demand, specifically fuel. In addition, a downgrade to Chinese property developers (Evergrande and Kaisa Group) broadened anxiety. Weekly inventories were largely muted with stocks falling -241k barrels with the deficit widening to -70.361 million barrels and now -30.986 million barrels below the five-year average. Production increased to 11.70 million barrels per day with the third consecutive week of increases and the highest total since May. Oil volatility (ovx) has fallen from its most recent high of ~78 but continues to remain elevated with today’s range between 62.93 – 74.32.