WTI above $81 on market deficit

The U.S. flag is displayed at Tesoro’s Los Angeles oil refinery.

Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

U.S. crude oil futures cracked $81 a barrel on Thursday, ending the day at the highest level since early November as the International Energy Agency now forecasts a supply deficit for 2024.

The West Texas Intermediate contract for April rose $1.54 , or 1.93%, to settle at $81.26 a barrel. The Brent contract for May added $1.39, or 1.65%, to settle at $85.42 a barrel.

Oil Prices, Energy News and Analysis

The move came after the IEA forecast a slight supply deficit for the year rather than a surplus, as the organization assumes OPEC+ will keep its production cuts in place through 2024. The cartel’s cuts of 2.2 million barrels per day are officially in place through at least the second quarter.

The IEA revised global demand growth upward by 110,000 barrels per day to 1.3 million barrels per day total.

Oil prices rose more than 2% Wednesday after Ukrainian drone attacks this week on Russian oil refineries. U.S. crude has gained 13.4% in 2024, while the global benchmark has gained 10.9%.

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