Oil prices rose to a near three-year high above $75 a Barrel on Thursday, ahead of a decision by crucial producers on output policy for the second half of 2021. The August West Texas Intermediate crude price inched up 2.4 percent, or $1.76, to $75.23 a Barrel, its highest level since October 2018. Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose 2%, or $1.49, to $76.10 per Barrel in September.
After starting 2021 at roughly $48.5 per Barrel, the WTI has increased more than 50% this year. Demand has risen as people return to the roads following the economic recovery, and prices have been sustained by a resurgence in goods traffic and air travel. In addition, gas prices are rising due to the post-pandemic driving frenzy, and $75 crude oil prices could mean much higher prices at the pump.
According to AAA, the current average price of unleaded gasoline is $3.123 per gallon, up from $2.179 per gallon a year ago. The advance occurred ahead of a meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC partners, known as OPEC+. They have expressed optimism about improved market conditions and the prognosis for fuel demand growth following this year’s substantial rise in oil prices. As a result, the OPEC+ summit has been rescheduled for Friday.
On CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange,” Jeff Currie, global head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs, indicated that the planned OPEC output increase of 500,000 Barrel per day could not be enough to keep prices low. WTI futures fell into negative territory for the first time in history just over a year ago as the coronavirus pandemic spread, shutting down economies throughout the world. However, according to Bank of America, oil might rise to $100 per Barrel due to increasing demand.