Crude oil futures settled higher on Friday amid hopes energy demand will grow faster than supply despite a resurgence in coronavirus infections across the globe.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended up by $0.33 or about 0.5% at $73.95 a barrel, after climbing to a high of $74.23 a barrel.
WTI Crude futures gained about 2.6% in the week. Oil futures added 0.7% in July, gaining for a fourth straight month.
Brent crude futures were up $0.17 or 0.22% at $75.27 a barrel a little while ago.
A report from Baker Hughes today said the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil dropped by two to 385 this week, falling for the first time after four weeks. The total active U.S. rig count, which includes those drilling for natural gas, declined by 3 to 488.
Although coronavirus cases are rising in the U.S., Asia and parts of Europe, traders hope higher vaccination rates would help demand grow faster than supply.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is expected to raise prices across various grades of crude oil it sells to Asia in September for a second straight month, says a report from Reuters.