(New York) Oil prices ended sharply higher on Monday, driven by speculative purchases by investors who are repositioning themselves in a market unbalanced by OPEC’s communication.

The price of a barrel of North Sea Brent for delivery in August rose 2.51%, to close at $81.63.

A barrel of American West Texas Intermediate (WTI) maturing in July gained 2.92% to $77.74.

“Short” contracts, that is to say betting on a fall in the price of WTI, thus reached almost four times the “long” contracts, purchased by brokers who believe in a rise in prices, according to the CFTC.

“It shows that the market has become extreme,” said Matt Smith of Kpler. “And when you get to that point, there’s often a downturn.”

From then on, some of the speculative operators positioned on the downside until now are starting to buy black gold again, believing that prices are reaching downward limits and that their margin for withdrawal is now limited.

The cartel announced that it intended to gradually return, from October, to 2.2 million barrels per day of cuts decided unilaterally by several members, which raised fears for the balance between supply and demand.

Several ministers from important members of the alliance then put this commitment into perspective, saying that the group would decide when the time comes based on market conditions.

After the new impulse on Monday, crude prices returned to the level they showed before the OPEC meeting.

Operators are awaiting, this week, a series of monthly forecasts, those from OPEC and the American Energy Information Agency (EIA) from Tuesday, followed by the International Energy Agency (IEA) , Wednesday.