(Bloomberg) -- Brent crude futures settled at the highest level in almost three years as supplies shrink at a time when a global energy crunch makes it increasingly likely crude will be tapped for power generation. 

Some of the world’s largest oil traders as well as banks are predicting crude prices to surge even higher this year. Vitol Group sees oil rising above $80 a barrel, partly as surging gas prices boost demand for crude in power generation. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said crude may top $90 if the coming winter in the northern hemisphere proves colder than normal.

Brent for November delivery rose $1.06 to settle at $77.25 a barrel on Thursday on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. 


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