The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, U.S., November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant/File Photo

LONDON, Oct 14 (Reuters) – A global energy crunch is expected to boost oil demand by half a million barrels per day (bpd) and could stoke inflation and slow the world’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.

Oil and natural gas prices have soared to multi-year highs recently, sending power prices surging to record levels as widespread energy shortages engulf Asia and Europe.

“Record coal and gas prices as well as rolling blackouts are prompting the power sector and energy-intensive industries to turn to oil to keep the lights on and operations humming,” the IEA said in its monthly oil report.

“Higher energy prices are also adding to inflationary pressures that, along with power outages, could lead to lower industrial activity and a…

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