Oil prices advanced on Friday and were heading for a second week of gains amid growing confidence that demand for fuel is starting to pick up despite the coronavirus pandemic that has slammed economies worldwide.
Brent crude LCOc1 was up 14 cents, or 0.3%, at $45.10 by 0043 GMT, heading for a gain of about 1.6% this week, as reported by Reuters.
West Texas Intermediate CLc1 had gained 12 cents, or 0.3%, to $42.36. The U.S. benchmark is heading for a gain of nearly 3% this week.
Prices have been bolstered this week by U.S. government data showing crude oil, gasoline and distillate inventories all fell last week as refiners ramped up production and demand for oil products improved.
Still, the International Energy Agency has reduced its oil demand forecast for this year, and said lower air travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic would cut global oil consumption this year by 8.1 million barrels per day (bpd).
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said earlier this week that world oil demand is likely to drop by 9.06 million bpd this year, a bigger decline than the 8.95 million bpd decline expected a month ago.