Oil prices rose slightly in cautious trade on Tuesday as signs of tight supply and improving vaccination rates offset worries about the global spread of the Delta variant coronavirus.
Benchmark Brent crude futures rose 22 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $73.92 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures were up 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $72.00 a barrel.
Traders continue to believe that overall supply will fall short of expected demand despite a decision by the Opec and its allies, collectively known as Opec+, to raise production through the rest of the year.
It is expected that rising vaccination rates will help offset any negative impact on demand due to surging COVID-19 cases worldwide.
The European Union is on course to hit a target of fully vaccinating at least 70 percent of the adult population by the end of summer, EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said today.
Investors await inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute later today and the U.S. Energy Information Administration report due on Wednesday for further signs that global demand is holding up.