Both oil benchmarks fell on Friday, as the International Energy Agency's (IEA) outlook for the remainder of this year was downgraded due to restrictions imposed due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, and on revisions to historical data.
International benchmark Brent crude traded at $70.81 at 0651 GMT on Friday, posting a 0.72% decrease from Thursday when trade closed at $71.31 per barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $68.52 at the same time on Friday, declining by 0.83% relative to $69.09 a barrel on Thursday.
The IEA's downward revision of its global oil demand estimates for the remainder of 2021 and next year pressured prices on Friday.
'Growth for the second half of 2021 has been downgraded more sharply, as new Covid-19 restrictions imposed in several major oil-consuming countries, particularly in Asia, look set to reduce mobility and oil use,' the agency said.
Japan and Korea have been forced to introduce very strict containment measures, the IEA stressed, adding that 'even China (with a high vaccination rate) has introduced new restrictions, which has had a significant impact on air transport demand.'
Lowered by over 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) since last month’s report, global oil demand is now forecast to rise on average by 5.3 million bpd to 96.2 million bpd in 2021.
Meanwhile, OPEC's global oil demand growth expectations for 2021 remained unchanged from the previous month’s assessment.
'Oil demand is still estimated to increase by around 6 million bpd to average 96.6 million bpd,' OPEC said.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu