US oil benchmark hits another seven-year high amid supply fears

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The price of US crude oil hit a fresh seven-year high on Monday on fears that fuel demand was recovering faster from last year’s economic slowdown than producers could bring supply to the market.

West Texas Intermediate, the US crude benchmark, hit a high of more than $82 a barrel, its highest level since 2014, before pulling back to $80.46, up 1.4 per cent for the day.

Oil prices have climbed more than 16 per cent since the start of September, encouraged by a global economic rebound and a shortage of natural gas that has increased demand for other energy sources.

The rally hit a brief speed bump last week when Jennifer Granholm, US energy secretary, told the Financial Times that the Biden administration was considering tapping into the nation’s strategic stockpiles to help ease surging fuel prices.

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