Why is the Woodside (ASX:WPL) share price climbing today?

Oil prices took a hit on Omicron variant concerns.

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The Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) share price is well into the green in afternoon trade. Shares in the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) energy giant are up 1.41% to $21.54 per share.

This comes on the back of a modest rebound in oil prices.

What’s happening with global oil markets?

Crude oil took its biggest fall over the weekend since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020.

Brent crude dropped from US$82.22 (AU$115.80) per barrel on Friday to US$72.72 on Saturday. The 12% price crash was spurred by fears that the Omicron variant arising in South Africa could derail global reopening plans and see the demand for oil evaporate.

Over the past 24 hours, Brent crude has edged 1% higher to US$73.44 per barrel, a move that’s likely helping support the Woodside share price today.

Looking ahead, oil traders are keeping a close eye on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+). The 23-nation oil cartel is meeting tomorrow and Thursday to determine whether they’ll press ahead with their plan to increase the group’s production by another 400,000 barrels per day in January.

Some analysts are predicting OPEC will hold off on any further increase for now. They note that the release of emergency oil stockpiles by the United States and other nations will certainly be a talking point at the upcoming meeting.

And the unknowns surrounding Omicron aren’t likely to encourage a big output increase either.

According to Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group (quoted by Bloomberg), “The emergence of a new Covid variant that could spawn renewed shutdowns and travel restrictions is precisely the type of change in market conditions that could cause [OPEC] ministers to deviate from their plan [to add barrels].”

An expert’s view on the Woodside share price

Last week The Motley Fool had the opportunity to chat with Katana Asset Management’s co-founder Romano Sala Tenna. (You can find the full interview here.)

Regarding energy markets, and the Woodside share price, Tenna told the Motley Fool:

I think the energy market was sold down very aggressively over a short period of time. We’re now starting to see good value opportunities in the energy market, even though the headwinds are there. We’re starting to see Woodside trade on a single digit PER [price-earnings ratio]… We think the outlook for Woodside is very good. It’s been heavily sold down on the back of the ESG thematic.

Woodside share price snapshot

The Woodside share price has struggled in 2021. Starting the year at $23.07 per share, Woodside is currently down 5%. That compares to a year-to-date gain of 11% posted by the ASX 200.

Over the past month, the Woodside share price has slipped 7%.

Should you invest $1,000 in Woodside right now?

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The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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