“Besides soft factors such as increased demand from investors in view of the pronounced price buoyancy, rising stock markets and economic optimism, the physical market is also looking increasingly tight,” said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank.
Brent for April settlement climbed 1.1pc to $59.49 a barrel in London, while US oil was also up more than 1pc to $56.82.
Average US oil prices for the rest of the year are at $55 a barrel and above $50 for 2022 – levels that could spur renewed production.
For now though, there are signs of ongoing strength as Saudi Aramco left its oil prices unchanged for Asia in March, defying expectations of a cut. It also hiked pricing to Europe and the U.S.
Meanwhile, Cnooc is planning a massive boost in spending and production as China’s oil majors try to keep up with energy demand that’s roaring back from the pandemic.