Economy

US oil benchmark WTI price above $80, highest in 7 years

Price surge result of high global oil demand against low supply in post-pandemic period

Övünç Kutlu   | 08.10.2021
US oil benchmark WTI price above $80, highest in 7 years File Photo

ANKARA

Price of US crude oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) on Friday climbed above $80 per barrel for the first time in seven years.

WTI crude oil price hit as high as $80.11 per barrel before 12.30 p.m. EDT (1630 GMT), according to official data.

That marked the highest level since Nov. 3, 2014 when WTI price last saw the highest level of $80.98 per barrel.

The peak in 2014 came a few weeks before Saudi Arabia-led OPEC opposed a production cut on Nov. 27, 2014 that had created an oversupply in the market and caused prices to plummet dramatically for the following three years -- a move by the cartel to kick US shale oil producers out of the market.

The recent price surge, however, is a result of high global oil demand creating an imbalance against low supply caused by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and its allies, dubbed by OPEC+.

OPEC+ agreed earlier this week to raise their oil production by 400,000 barrels per day in November, much lower than what global oil market needs in surging demand during post-pandemic period -- a decision that keeps upward pressure on oil prices.

The move was part of the group's existing plan that aims to gradually phase out its production cuts that were implemented during the coronavirus pandemic when global oil demand had steeply declined.

US gasoline prices soared to their highest level in seven years this week, according to figures released Wednesday by the American Automobile Association (AAA).

The national average stood at $3.221 per gallon for regular gasoline -- its highest since October 2014. That marked a 47.6% increase from a year ago when it was $2.182.

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