Oil prices were hovering at multiyear highs on Friday, with Brent crude briefly trading above $85 a barrel.
December Brent crude
the global benchmark, rose 73 cents, or 0.8%, to $84.77 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, hitting a session high so far of $85.10 a barrel, a level not seen since Oct. 9. 2018, according to FactSet. Brent closed up 1% to $84 a barrel on Thursday, also its highest close since Oct. 9, 2018.
West Texas Intermediate crude
for November delivery rose 69 cents, or 0.8%, to $81.99 a barrel, which was the highest level since Oct. 29, 2014. The contract closed up 1.1%, to settle at $81.31 on Thursday, which was also the highest since that date.
Brent crude was on track for a weekly rise of 3%, while WTI, the U.S. benchmark, was up 3.5%.
Oil prices surged Thursday after the International Energy Agency noted a “massive” switch to crude by power generators as natural gas, liquefied natural gas and coal supplies shortages drag on. Prices finished below the session’s best levels after U.S. government data showed a third-straight weekly rise in domestic crude inventories, the biggest since March.
Meanwhile, November gasoline edged up by 1.2% to $2.435 a gallon, while November heating oil added 1.6% to $2.561 a gallon.
The IEA raised its global oil-demand forecasts for this year and the next by 170,000 barrels a day and 210,000 barrels a day respectively, but said due to the continuing energy crisis, the cumulative effect could be as big as 500,000 barrels a day from September through next year’s first quarter.
“Even if output is further ramped up as planned in the coming months, the oil market will still be undersupplied to the tune of roughly 1 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter,” said Carsten Fritsch, commodity analyst at Commerzbank, in a note to clients.
November natural gas
rose 1.35% to $5.762 per million British thermal units, up more than 3% on the week so far.