Global oil markets witnessed higher prices for a second month after the US crude market tightened following a renewed calls for the US to sanction Venezuela’s oil industry, reports Amwal Al Ghad.

Brent crude futures were at $52.82 per barrel on July 31st, up $52.52 (an increase of 0.6%). Prices had briefly hit $52.90 per barrel earlier in the day, the highest price for Brent crude since May 25.

After tepid oil markets at the beginning of 2017, demand began to pick up during the second quarter. Brian Gilvary, BP’s Chief Financial Officer, noted that demand was expected to increase by 1.4 to 1.5 million barrels per day (b/d), as reported by Reuters.

“Global demand is looking pretty strong, and prices will firm around the levels seen today,” he said.

Gilvary said that BP expects global oil prices to be between $45 and $55 per barrel in 2018 due to the increase in US production of shale oil.