(New York) Oil prices posted their fourth positive session in five trading days, but the black gold’s momentum is running out of steam as the market waits for tangible signs of strengthening demand.

The price of a barrel of North Sea Brent crude for delivery in August ended up 0.35% at $81.92.

A barrel of American West Texas Intermediate (WTI), due in July, gained 0.20%, to $77.90.

Black gold had started off on the wrong foot, digesting the jump the day before. But the courses eventually emerged from their torpor, thanks to several publications.

The cartel expects the services sector to maintain its momentum in the second half, “particularly in travel and tourism, which is expected to have a positive impact on oil demand,” according to the report.

For its part, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) raised its demand projection for 2024 to 102.98 million barrels per day (mbd), compared to 102.84 in May.

In particular, it anticipates an acceleration in crude oil consumption in China and India.

At the same time, the EIA lowered its production forecast from 102.76 mbd to 102.57, due to the commitment of OPEC members and their allies in the OPEC agreement to extend all of their cuts production at least until October.

These figures “support prices for now”, but the situation remains fragile, according to Again Capital analyst John Kilduff.

“Now we need signs of demand,” warns the analyst, for whom the EIA’s weekly report on American stocks of oil and refined products, expected Wednesday, “is going to be very important for the market.” If gasoline deliveries “fall further below 9 million barrels per day, it will darken the picture and it will be difficult to preserve recent gains,” he adds.

The market therefore expects an increase in demand for air conditioning, and therefore for electricity, a significant part of which is produced using natural gas.