Brent crude oil rose 26 cents, or 0.36%, to 72.78 dollars a barrel, while U.S. WTI improved 27 cents, or 0.38%, to 70.56 dollars a barrel.

Oil prices rose after several years and were heading for their third weekly rise on positive expectations about fuel demand in the United States, Europe, and China, while the increase in vaccination rates leads to an easing of restrictions due to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic.

Brent crude futures were up 26 cents, or 0.36 percent, at $72.78 a barrel, a day after touching their highest since May 2019. Meanwhile, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures improved 27 cents, or 0.38 percent, to $70.56 a barrel, after closing the day before at their highest since October 2018.

U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs expects Brent prices to reach $80 per barrel this northern summer as vaccination campaigns boost global economic activity.

The International Energy Agency said in its monthly report that OPEC+ producers will have to boost their pumping to meet demand, which will recover to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022. Analysts at ANZ Research said in a note that data showing a return of rolling traffic to pre-covid-19 levels in North America and most of Europe is encouraging.