Brent crude hits $79.54/ barrel as pandemic restrictions ease

The Brent crude oil on Monday hit $79.54 per barrel, rising by $1.45.

It was an indication of 1.80% increase, according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) data.

A Reuters report attributed the soaring prices to an increase in demand that followed the ease of COVID-19 restrictions globally.

It said the “crude oil prices rose for a fifth straight day on Monday with Brent at its highest since October 2018 and heading for $80 amid supply concerns as demand picks up in parts of the world with the easing of pandemic restrictions.”

It noted that Brent crude was up $1.43 or 1.8% at $79.52 a barrel by 1227 GMT, having posted three straight weeks of gains. U.S. Oil added $1.44, or 2%, to $75.42, near its highest since July, after rising for a fifth straight week last week.

Goldman Sachs raised by $10 its forecast for Brent crude at the end of this year to $90 per barrel, as faster fuel demand recovery from the outbreak of the Delta variant of the coronavirus and Hurricane Ida’s hit to U.S. production led to tight global supplies.

Price support came courtesy of U.S. supply tightness as disruptions in the Gulf of Mexico spurred inventory draws,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

The European crude benchmark was also buoyed by gains across the broader energy complex, he added.

“Surging natural gas prices fuelled rumours that it could boost demand for alternative fuels, including oil.”

India’s oil imports hit a three-month peak in August, rebounding from nearly one-year lows touched in July, as refiners in the second-biggest importer of crude stocked up in anticipation of higher demand.

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