(Reuters) -Bank of America (BofA) Global Research has raised its 2024 Brent and WTI oil price forecasts, citing escalating geopolitical tensions and the OPEC+ producer group maintaining supply curbs.

The bank now expects Brent and WTI crude prices this year to average $86 and $81 per barrel respectively, with prices of both peaking around $95 per barrel during the summer.

futures were trading around $89 per barrel at 0902 GMT on Wednesday, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were around $85 a barrel. [O/R]

“We now estimate that improving economic growth expectations have helped push global oil markets into a deficit in 2Q24 and 3Q24 of ~450 thousand barrel per day” BofA said in a research note, which did not include its previous forecasts.

“Geopolitical turmoil has also boosted oil demand via longer trade routes and impacted supply by reducing refining capacity via attacks on Russian energy infrastructure.” the bank said.

© Reuters. Miniatures of oil barrels and a rising stock graph are seen in this illustration taken January 15, 2024. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File photo

A Ukrainian drone on Tuesday targeted Russia’s third-largest oil refinery approximately 1,300 km (800 miles) away from the front lines, impacting a unit responsible for processing around 155,000 barrels of crude per day (bpd).

OPEC+ members led by Saudi Arabia and Russia last month agreed to extend voluntary oil output cuts of 2.2 million bpd into the second quarter.

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