Oil prices climb as COVID recovery, power generators stoke demand


Oil prices hit their highest level in years on Monday as demand recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, boosted by more custom from power generators turning away from expensive gas and coal to fuel oil and diesel.

Brent crude oil futures rose 63 cents to $85.49 a barrel after hitting a session-high of $86.04, the highest price since October 2018.

U.S. oil crude futures climbed 95 cents, to $83.23 a barrel, after hitting a session-high of $83.73, highest since October 2014.

Both contracts rose by at least 3% last week.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday that the country will urge oil producers to increase output and take steps to cushion the blow to industries hit by the recent spike in energy costs.

Still, supply could increase from the United States, where energy firms last week added oil and natural gas rigs for a sixth week in a row as soaring crude prices prompted drillers to return to the wellpad.

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