Crude oil prices climbed on Monday after US President Donald Trump announced an emergency authorization for convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 patients.

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $45.01 per barrel at 0602 GMT for a 0.4% increase after closing Friday at $44.80 a barrel.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $42.39 a barrel at the same time for a 0.11% increase after ending the previous session at $42.34 per barrel.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a federal agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services, has authorized the emergency use of antibody-rich blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors to treat other coronavirus patients, Trump said on Monday.

The FDA said in its statement that over 70,000 American patients had been treated with convalescent plasma so far.

Storms in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday brought oil production to a halt and supported price rises.

Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura tore through the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, forcing some energy companies to pull workers from offshore platforms and shut down oil production.

Oil companies, including BP Plc, Chevron Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, on Sunday, had shut down 58% of offshore oil production in the Gulf and 45% of natural gas output. The area comprises 17% of total US oil output and 5% of US natural gas production.

The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide is now over 23 million, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

While the US still tops the number of cases with 5.7 million as of Monday morning, Brazil has more than 3.6 million cases, and India follows with more than 3.1 million cases.

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