US oil hits 7-year high

US crude oil prices have hit a seven-year high. Markets reacted on Monday after OPEC and other oil producing nations have decided to stick with their pact to open up their taps gradually.

Economies reemerging from the pandemic have driven up demand for gasoline and jet fuel. US crude hit 78 dollars per barrel. Prices have not been that high since 2014.

The oil producers agreed in July to raise their output by 400 thousand barrels per day. They will increase production by that amount every month until at least April. But they resisted political and commercial pressure to ramp up supplies.

A storm that slammed into states along the Gulf of Mexico in August has compounded the problem. Hurricane Ida damaged oil and gas infrastructure. Some refineries are still recovering.

Prices for other energy sources including natural gas and coal are rising too. Investors are concerned that could add to inflationary pressures and hurt the pace of the economic recovery.