UPDATE 4-Oil set for third week of gains on vaccine hopes

* Brent, WTI both up over 4% in the week

* Market eyes OPEC+ meeting at month-end

* Discussions on more U.S. COVID-19 relief support prices
(Updates prices)

By Ahmad Ghaddar

LONDON, Nov 20 (Reuters) – Oil prices firmed on Friday, and
were on track for a third consecutive weekly rise, buoyed by
successful COVID-19 vaccine trials, while renewed lockdowns in
several countries to limit the spread of the coronavirus capped
gains.

Prospects for effective COVID-19 vaccines and hopes OPEC and
its allies will keep production in check have bolstered oil
markets this week.

Brent crude futures were up 31 cents, or 0.7%, at
$44.51 a barrel at 1357 GMT.

The more active U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) January
crude contract gained 17 cents, or 0.4%, to $42.07 a
barrel. The WTI contract for December, which expires on
Friday, was up 24 cents at $41.98.

Both benchmarks are up more than 4% so far this week.

“Concerns about demand, which have been weighing on prices
since the spring, are now giving way to hopes of economic
recovery, thanks in part to the imminent rollout of vaccines
…” Commerzbank said.

Prices also found support from expectations the Organization
of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other
producers – a group known as OPEC+ – will delay a planned
production increase.

The group, which meets on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, is looking at
options to delay by at least three months from January the
tapering of their 7.7 million barrel per day (bpd) cuts by
around 2 million bpd.

“An assumed roll-over of current cuts by OPEC+ to Q1 2021 is
probably in today’s price of $44/barrel,” Nordic bank SEB said.

Oil prices were getting some support from signs of movement
on a stimulus deal in Washington after U.S. Senate Republican
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to resume discussions on
providing more COVID-19 relief as cases surge across the United
States.

Oversupply concerns, however, continue to weigh as Libya has
raised production to pre-blockade levels of 1.25 million bpd.
(Additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick in TOKYO and Koustav
Samanta in SINGAPORE; Editing by Mark Potter)

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