.
.
.
.
Oil

Oil prices up to fresh multi-year highs on fuel demand recovery

Published: Updated:

Oil prices rose on Friday to fresh multi-year highs and were set for their third weekly jump on expectations of a recovery in fuel demand in the United States, Europe and China as rising vaccination rates lead to an easing of pandemic curbs.

Brent crude futures edged up 21 cents to $72.73 a barrel to 1000 GMT, a day after closing at their highest since May 2019.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 15 cents to $70.44 a barrel, a day after their highest close since October 2018.

US investment bank Goldman Sachs expects Brent crude prices to reach $80 per barrel this summer as vaccination rollouts boost global economic activity.

The International Energy Agency said in its monthly report that OPEC+ oil producers would need to boost output to meet demand set to recover to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.

“OPEC+ needs to open the taps to keep the world oil markets adequately supplied,” the Paris-based energy watchdog said.

It said that rising demand and countries’ short-term policies were at odds with the IEA’s call to end new oil, gas and coal funding.

“In 2022 there is scope for the 24-member OPEC+ group, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, to ramp up crude supply by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) above its July 2021-March 2022 target,” the IEA said.

Data showing road traffic returning to pre-COVID-19 levels in North America and most of Europe was encouraging, ANZ Research analysts said in a note.

“Even the jet fuel market is showing signs of improvement, with flights in Europe rising 17 percent over the past two weeks, according to Eurocontrol,” ANZ analysts said.

Read more: Iran prepared to speedily ramp up oil output if US sanctions eased