Oil prices rose to their highest levels in several years today, Friday, and are heading for the third week of gains in a row, supported by an improved global demand outlook, as increased vaccination activity leads to the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions..
Brent crude futures rose 35 cents to $72.87 a barrel by 1520 GMT, after closing at their highest level since May 2019 on Thursday. Brent has so far achieved a weekly rise of 0.7 percent.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures advanced 70 cents to $70.99 a barrel, after rising on Thursday to their highest level since October 2018. They are up 1.2 percent since the beginning of the week..
“The pace of demand returning is outpacing the pace of supply returning, and we’ll need more supply to meet that demand,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.“.
The International Energy Agency said in its monthly report that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, within the framework of the OPEC + group, will need to increase production to meet demand, which is set to recover to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022..
The Paris-based agency said, “OPEC + needs to increase production in order for global markets to have sufficient supplies.”“.
She said that the rising demand and short-term policies of countries are in contrast to the agency’s call to end new financing for oil, gas and coal.
“In 2022, there is room for the 24 members of the OPEC + group, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, to increase crude supplies by 1.4 million barrels per day above their target for the period between July 2021 and March 2022,” the agency said.“.
US investment bank Goldman Sachs expects Brent crude prices to reach $80 a barrel this summer, betting that the recent rise in the oil market will continue as the distribution of vaccines against the Corona virus boosts global economic activity and demand for crude..
Analysts at ANZ said data revealing that road traffic is returning to pre-Covid-19 levels in North America and most of Europe is encouraging..
“Even the jet fuel market is showing signs of improvement, while flights in Europe have risen 17% over the past two weeks, according to Eurocontrol,” ANZ analysts said.“.