Crude oil prices rose sharply on Friday, extending recent gains, reacting to the decision of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to maintain output reduction agreement through end of April.
Saudi Arabia said it will retain its 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut in order to support crude prices. Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who cautioned about raising production, said cuts will be withdrawn over the next few months depending upon the market conditions.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended higher by $2.26 or about 3.5% at $66.09 a barrel, the highest settlement since June 2019.
WTI crude oil futures gained more than 7% in the week.
Brent crude oil futures were up $2.63 or 3.91% at $69.37 a barrel a little while ago.
With the economy showing signs of a quick recovery, it is widely expected that energy demand will see a significant jump across the world.
According to the report released by Baker Hughes Friday afternoon, U.S. energy firms added oil and natural gas rigs for a second week in a row amid rising crude prices.
The oil and gas rig count in the U.S. rose to 403 this week, an addition of one rig from a week earlier. The total rig count has increased for the past seven months after dropping to a record low of 244 in August, the data showed.