Oil soars past $105 on Libya violence

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, February 21, 2011 16:24 EDT
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LONDON – Brent oil prices soared above $105 per barrel on Monday, striking a fresh two-year peak as deadly violence in Libya fuelled concerns over spreading unrest in the Middle East and north Africa region.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April surged to $105.15 per barrel, the highest level since late September 2008, before pulling back slightly to $105.02, up $2.50 from Friday’s closing level.

New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for March, known as West Texas Intermediate, jumped to $90.52. It later stood at $90.35, up by a hefty $4.15 from Friday.

Angry Libyan protesters ransacked the state broadcaster and set government buildings ablaze on Monday, as the son of leader Moamer Kadhafi warned the country faces civil war and “rivers of blood”.

With gunfire crackling in the streets of Tripoli, and Human Rights Watch putting the death toll at 233 since Thursday, Saif al-Islam Kadhafi vaguely promised reforms as he condemned the revolt as a foreign plot.

Moamer Kadhafi, 68, the longest-serving leader in the Arab world, remained out of sight.

“Brent crude oil hit a new high above $105 a barrel, following news of the strike at a Libyan oil field today, and the fear of oil field disruption looms large,” said analyst Rebecca Seabury at UK energy consultancy Inenco.

OPEC member Libya is Africa’s fourth largest oil producer after Nigeria, Algeria and Angola, boasting production of 1.8 million barrels per day and estimated reserves of 42 billion barrels.

Libya exports most of its oil to European countries, including Italy, Germany, Spain and France.

“Violence in Libya is the main driver of the price rise,” added Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

“An influential tribal leader has threatened to cease oil shipments to the West within 24 hours if the violence against protesters does not end.”

The market had breached $104 last week on escalating tensions in the key oil-supplying Middle East and North Africa area, following the ousting of presidents in Egypt and Tunisia.

Elsewhere on Monday, Bahrain’s Sunni Muslim ruling family came under increased pressure to open in-depth negotiations with the Shiite-led opposition as protesters erected more tents on the capital’s Pearl Square.

Experts warned that oil prices could rocket to record levels beyond $147 per barrel — if the unrest spreads to Saudi Arabia

“The market will be most concerned over the protests spilling into Saudi Arabia. So far we have only seen low key, small scale protests there,” added Seabury.

“However, as Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter, if the situation escalates this could take oil prices … higher than the $147 a barrel we saw in 2008.”

On Tuesday, the International Energy Forum will meet in Saudi Arabia as the geopolitical tensions and economic recovery drive prices back to levels last seen before the 2008 global financial crisis. The IEF groups the world’s top oil producing and consuming nations.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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  • Anonymous

    So if oil soars whenever there is a global conflict, what’s to stop the oil industry from manufacturing, encouraging or taking advantage of conflicts?

    Disaster Capitalism

  • http://www.rawstory.com/ Stumptownhero

    Setting aside the weakness in the dollar this latest spike in the SPOT PRICE of oil is just a phony excuse for the oil companies to gouge the consumers.

    I doubt that even 5% of the public realizes that over half of the oil Exxon, BP, Shell or Chevron price is determined via long term contracts with land owners and the other 40% comes from their own wells on Govt land.

    The price of oil that the LAME STREAM media has falsely convinced the Globe is the “price” of oil represents less than 15% of ALL oil consumed in any 12 month period.

    When you see the SPOT price spike what that indicates is that marketers who DO NOT have their own wells are willing to pay more to ensure a continued supply. Think about it for a just a minute. Did the cost of the oil coming out of the EXISTING wells change???? No it did not however the producers are more than willing to “go along” with the increases because why….it increases PROFIT.

  • http://twitter.com/btmfdrsheaven rebecca meritt

    ok,but what’s the margins?

  • http://www.rawstory.com/ hounddogg

    and we have a HUGE surplus right now…watch the ave. price jump up to 4$ + in the next week or 2…

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicConstitution?feature=mhum TruthRegimes

    8 months ago Lindsay Williams, who has a Globalist elitist connect, told the Alex Jones show that oil would hit $200 per barrel by 2012…looks like he and his source are correct. http://republicconstitution.blogspot.com/

  • risa bear

    If and when oil goes to $150/barrel, and there’s no public transportation in your area because you voted tea party, all is not lost. Sell the Lexus and get a really, really big van. Connect with everyone in the neighborhood. Talk carpool; accept a little baksheesh from running your unregulated taxi. Trade rides for food, etc.

  • http://www.balmorheaprogressive.blogspot.com/ BaileyWuXiang

    “Never let a crisis go to waste.” –Rahm Emanuel

  • Anonymous

    fueled is spelled wrong

  • Mr. Neutron

    If you found a 60 carat deep blue diamond on vacation, what value would you give it ? The cost it took you to acquire it, or the going market rate ?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TX3MXXPF52BXCKGNLDNPADILPQ paul rogers

    The rise in oil prices is clearly just Bush/cheney paying off their cronies with the help of Obama, just like in 2007.

  • Brimstone Hill

    And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
    Makes a person wonder………….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IA2XCA7JNM6SPZZG4HURXHEYBY Trippin Mczoink

    BP should have thought of this before they made the Scottish government release the Lockerbee Bomber to score that deal with Qadaffi. Looks like that was all for naught, because the guy they made the deal with has split the scene.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IA2XCA7JNM6SPZZG4HURXHEYBY Trippin Mczoink

    “When you see the SPOT price spike what that indicates is that marketers who DO NOT have their own wells are willing to pay more to ensure a continued supply.”

    In some instances. But that worthwhile endeavor has been perverted by the money grubbers into a speculative casino. I suspect most people buying contracts have no intent on taking delivery — they’re just shuffling paper on our backs.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IA2XCA7JNM6SPZZG4HURXHEYBY Trippin Mczoink

    Your analogy is sound, which is precisely why “drill baby drill” is the chant of a moron. There’s no such thing as “our” oil.

    For starters, let’s just get these bastards to pay taxes on the diamonds they already found. When I pay more in income tax than Exxon/Mobil, there’s no fucking wonder we’re broke as a nation.

  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

    the newest excuse for
    big oil’s record profits