Oil prices have hit their highest level since 2014, with benchmark Brent crude moving above $74 a barrel. Brent has risen 11.4% since January.
Analysts point to escalating conflicts in Syria and Yemen, a crisis in Venezuela, and cuts to Saudi Arabian production for driving both Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) to their highest levels since November 2014. On Thursday they traded $74.75 and $69.56 per barrel respectively.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has been cutting crude output by 1.8m barrels per day (bpd) to prop up oil prices since January 2017.
China is importing a record nine million bpd of crude -- almost 10 percent of global consumption -- costing nearly $20bn a month.
- Graphic News & Digital Desk