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Oil rises on concerns about Libya and supplies

Oil rises on concerns about Libya and supplies

Oil prices climbed Monday as energy experts warned that Libya's oil exports could be off the world market longer than expected, and countries including the U.S. enforced a no-fly zone over Libya.
Traders also fretted about other uprisings in the Middle East and how much they would affect production among OPEC heavyweights Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Benchmark West Texas crude for May delivery gained $1.47 at $103.32 per barrel at midday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The April contract, which ends Tuesday, rose $1.36 to $102.43 per barrel.
Prices climbed after another violent weekend in Libya. Moammar Gadhafi vowed a "long war" as allied forces smashed his air defenses. On Monday, a top French official said international intervention could last "awhile."
Oil traders said they're increasingly concerned about political stability in North Africa and the Middle East, which produces 27 percent of the world's oil. The Libyan uprising has halted that country's exports, and experts said it's unclear when oil shipments will resume.
"Markets hate uncertainty," analyst and trader Stephen Schork said. "Could this be a protracted no-fly zone like the one we saw in Iraq" following the Persian Gulf War?
Protests in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria also are destabilizing the Middle East, a region that includes Saudi Arabia and Iran, two of the top three oil exporters in the world. Combined, Saudi Arabia and Iran produce 12.4 million barrels of oil per day.
Analyst Jim Ritterbusch said he expects oil prices will swing up and down this week as traders react to headlines out of the Middle East.
Meanwhile analysts said Japan will increase imports of fossil fuels to replace power lost from nuclear reactors damaged in the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck that country. Several idled oil refineries also were put back online last week.
In other Nymex trading for April contracts, heating oil gained 3 cents at $3.0588 per gallon and gasoline futures added 6 cents at $3.0091 per gallon. Natural gas picked up 4 cents at $4.208 per 1,000 cubic feet.
In London, Brent crude rose $1.49 to $115.26 per barrel.


Updated : 2020-11-30 20:05 GMT+08:00