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London Brent oil prices soar to $120
Thu, 24 Feb 2011 10:27:29 GMT
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London Brent oil prices have soared to 120 dollars amid the developments in Libya and several other oil-rich nations in North Africa and the Middle East.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April rallied as high as $119.79 per barrel on Thursday -- the highest level since August 22, 2008, AFP reported.

It already smashed past $110 on Wednesday over Libya's ongoing violence.

Also, New York's light sweet crude for April jumped to $103.41, a level last witnessed in late September 2008.

The increasing oil prices come as the Libyan government has lost control to pro-democracy protesters in many cities in the east, where much of its oil producing capacity and port operations lie.

The Libyan crisis is threatening the livelihood of foreign companies with vested interests in the North African nation.

Foreign oil companies, namely ENI of Italy, Spain's Repsol, French energy giant Total, Norwegian Statoil and the oil subsidiary of Germany's chemical group BASF, have halted much of their energy production in Libya and moved personnel out of the country.

Meanwhile, ENI's head said on Thursday that it has had to cut its oil production in Libya by over 50 percent due to the ongoing unrest.

The International Energy Agency reported Libya has proven oil reserves of 44 billion barrels -- the largest in Africa -- and exports most of its crude and gas production to Europe.

Libya is the world's 12th largest exporter of oil and it is estimated about one million barrels per day of production has been shut down.

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