Signs of a global energy crunch pushed up oil prices as markets grappled with the prospect of widespread fuel shortfalls heading into the end of the year.

Brent crude, the world benchmark, touched $80 (€67) per barrel on Tuesday while the US oil benchmark crude wasn\’t far behind, both reaching three-year highs.

Goldman Sachs says it expects a global energy rally for months to come. The investment bank forecast on Sunday that Brent would hit $90 (approximately €77) a barrel before the end of the year, up from its previous call for $80 (€68).

The latest gains for Brent came amid a broad rally in energy markets, with growing competition between Europe and China contributing to drive gas prices to record levels in recent weeks.

A shortfall in global gas production, along with a concerted drive in China to cut down on pollution from heavy industry, is expected to push crude higher as industries shift to using oil to generate power.

Meanwhile, the UK has been gripped by a fuel supply crisis triggered by a shortage of HGV drivers and motorists queueing for petrol, causing the stations to run dry after a spate of panic-buying.

Additional sources • AP

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