NEW YORK: Oil prices settled at a three-year high above US$85 a barrel on Friday, boosted by forecasts of a supply deficit in the next few months as the easing of coronavirus-related travel restrictions spurs demand.
Brent crude futures settled up 86 cents, or 1%, at US$84.86 a barrel. Front-month prices, which touched their highest level since October 2018 at $85.10, hit a weekly rise of 3%, its sixth straight weekly gain.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 97 cents, or 1.2%, to $82.28 a barrel. The was up 3.5% on the week in an eighth consecutive weekly rise.
Demand has picked up with the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with a further boost from power generators who have been turning away from expensive gas and coal to fuel oil and diesel.
The White House said it will lift COVID-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals effective Nov. 8, which should boost jet fuel demand.
Meanwhile, a sharp drop in oil stockpiles in the United States and the member countries of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development is expected to keep global supply tight.- Reuters