Brent crude prices gained $5/bbl from May to June and are on track to average $72 during the second half of 2021 (2H2021), the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in an updated forecast published Wednesday.

Brent prices rose to $73 in June, up $5 month/month and up $33 from year-ago prices, EIA said. Rising production should “reduce the persistent global oil inventory draws” observed over the past year and help to stabilize prices around current levels, according to the July edition of the agency’s Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).

In last month’s STEO, EIA had called for Brent to average $68 during the third quarter. 

Continuing output increases in 2022 from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, along with “accelerating...