OPINION: Saudi Arabia this week helped to boost the Brent crude price above $54 per barrel and Asian gas values are soaring, but the energy sector starts 2021 with a sense of unease.

Continued worldwide spending by central banks and optimism about vaccines to counter Covid-19 have driven stock markets to new highs.

Hopes for a post-Covid travel boom and resurgent economic growth might be expected to encourage a similar mood in oil markets, but there are reasons for restraint.