The barrel price used as a benchmark by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) thus continued the upward path of recent weeks, driven, analysts said, by the vigorous recovery in fuel consumption thanks to the revival of the economy after the Covid-19 pandemic.

This factor was compounded by the failure of OPEC and its allies, including Russia, to agree on an increase in oil supply to meet rising demand.

After several days of unofficial and official negotiations, the OPEC+ alliance, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, postponed for the third time the video conference it had initially convened for 1 July.

Moreover, unlike previous meetings, where each one convenes the next, the group of 23 oil-producing countries does not know for the moment when they will meet again.

"The date of the next meeting will be decided in due course and we will inform you in due course," OPEC's secretary-general said in a brief statement after negotiations broke down, attributed to the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) refusal to accept a preliminary agreement for a gradual increase in production.

The remaining partners voted in favour of Saudi Arabia and Russia's proposal to increase extractions by 0.4 million barrels per day per month by September 2022, but the UAE made its approval, required for consensus, conditional on increasing its national quota.

The news gave a further boost to oil prices as markets were expecting the announcement that there would be significantly more oil in the coming months to avoid a tense situation and a rise in energy prices that would undermine the recovery of the global economy.

Both the value of a barrel of Brent crude oil, which remained above $77 today, and WTI (West Texas Intermediate) oil, which is above $76, are at levels not seen since October 2018.

So far this year, the OPEC barrel - a "basket" of thirteen oil grades, one for each member country - has been trading at an average of $64.11, up 54.6 percent from the average for the whole of 2020 ($41.47), when oil prices fell due to the pandemic crisis.

The price of this barrel reached a low of $12.45 on April 22 last year.

If the current upward trend continues, energy prices are expected to rise considerably, as the average for this year is slightly higher than for the whole of 2019 (64.04 dollars).