Libya revolt sends oil prices flying
Thu, 03 Mar 2011 04:22:45 GMT
Concerns over Libya's oil output amid growing clashes between anti-government protesters and forces loyal to Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi have pushed oil prices up in global markets.
The price of sweet US oil for delivery in April on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed to 102.23 dollars per barrel, up USD 2.60 on Wednesday.
Tensions in the oil-exporting nation also sent the West Texas Intermediate futures contract soaring at above 103 a barrel -- the highest level since September 2008.
Brent crude also increased by 0.2 percent to stand at 116.58 dollars in Asian markets.
Figures released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) show Libya's oil output has been cut down by more than half a million barrels on daily basis.
Libya used to produce 1.6 million barrels of crude per day before the recent popular uprising peaked in the North African oil-rich country.
The regime of Gaddafi has lost control of several main cities in the east and the west of the country since the outset of the popular revolution in the country.
Although there is enough oil in storage and spare capacity worldwide to meet short-term needs, oil prices increased in global markets over the concerns regarding the spread of the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East.
According to the IEA statistics, Libya has proven oil reserves of 44 billion barrels, the largest in Africa, and exports most of its crude and gas production to Europe.