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Crude oil prices moved higher on Friday amid rising expectations that global energy demand will pick up thanks to acceleration in vaccination rollout and gradual reopening of business in several countries.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July settled at $70.91 a barrel, gaining $0.62 or about 0.9%.

WTI Crude futures added about 1.9% in the week, scoring gains for a third straight week.

Brent crude futures gained about $0.30 at $72.82 a barrel.

Oil prices were also supported by the International Energy Agency’s remarks in its month report that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies would need to increase output to meet demand. The IEA expects energy demand to recover to pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year.

OPEC said in its monthly oil market report on Thursday that it expects global oil demand to rise by 6 million barrels per day (bpd) this year from the lows of 2020, led by strong consumption in China and the United States, especially in the second half of the year.

According to Baker Hughes, the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil increased by six to 365 this week The total active U.S. rig count, which includes those drilling for natural gas, rose by five to 461, the report said.


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