Oil prices rose to their highest levels in years on Friday, and are heading for a third week of gains in a row after an improved outlook for global demand, as increased vaccination leads to the lifting of restrictions to combat the pandemic.
Brent crude futures rose 35 cents to $72.87 a barrel, after closing at their highest level since May 2019 on Thursday, and Brent has so far achieved a weekly rise of 0.7%.And US West Texas Intermediate crude futures advanced 70 cents to $ 70.99 a barrel, after rising yesterday, Thursday, to their highest level since October 2018, and they are up 1.2% since the beginning of the week.
“The pace of demand returning outpaces the pace of supply returning, and we’ll need more supply to meet 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 heading to recover to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.
The Paris-based agency said: “OPEC + needs to increase production so that global markets receive sufficient supplies.”
“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 the target for the period between July 2021 and March 2022,” the agency said.
The American investment bank, Goldman Sachs, expects Brent crude prices to reach $ 80 a barrel this summer, betting on the continued rise of the oil market, as the distribution of vaccines against the Corona virus boosts global economic activity and demand for crude.