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Monday, February 21, 2011

Crude oil pops higher 4% as Libya protests

4% Monday as violent protests spread in Libya, raising the possibility that oil supplies from that OPEC nation could be disrupted.Oil has risen to a two-year high, with Brent crude prices in London exceeding $105 a barrel today, as the Middle East turmoil stoked concern that shipments from the region may be disrupted. Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s son warned yesterday The Coming Economic Collapse: How You Can Thrive When Oil Costs $200 a Barrelthat a civil war would risk the country’s oil wealth as security forces attacked protesters, killing more than 200, according to New York-based. Nations including Iran and Bahrain are cracking down on opposition groups demanding change amid upheaval that’s toppled leaders in Egypt and Tunisia.

 to seek ways of curbing fluctuations, oil’s 20-day historical volatility has risen to 29.4, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It was at 12.6, an all-time low, at the end of December. U.S.

An oilfield near central Los Angeles is seen through a fence. World oil prices have been rising on Mideast unrest.

EnlargeCloseBy Mark Ralston, AFP/Getty Images

An oilfield near central Los Angeles is seen through a fence. World oil prices have been rising on Mideast unrest.

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By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark light, sweet crude for March delivery was up $3.10 a barrel to $89.30 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Libya holds the largest crude oil reserves in Africa and oil prices rose to a two-year high today.Introduction to the Global Oil & Gas Business Saif al-Islam Qaddafi called on protesters against his father Muammar Qaddafi’s 41- year rule to engage in dialogue or face a civil war that risks the country’s oil wealth, warning that “rivers of blood will flow” if demonstrations continue.

“The violence is unsettling and it’s definitely right to be cautious,” said Jason Kenney, head of oil and gas research at ING Wholesale Banking in Edinburgh. “It seems like Eni is most at risk. The gas coming into Europe is quite significant, so it’s a concern.”

The April contract was up $3.19 to $92.90. A barrel is 42 gallons.

U.S. markets, including Nymex floor trading, were closed Monday for the Presidents' Day holiday.

In London, Brent crude for April delivery gained $1.73 to $104.25 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
OPEC’s next policy-setting meeting is scheduled for early June, in Vienna. The group has ignored output quotas as prices have soared, pumping about 2 million barrels a day, or 8 percent, more than the official limit for 11 of its members.

Oil Surges

Crude for April delivery advanced as much as $4.04 to $93.75 a barrel in electronic trading

Stocks fell in Europe: By mid-afternoon London time, Germany's DAX index was 0.7% lower at 7,377 while the CAC-40 in Paris fell 0.7% to 4,130. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 0.2% at 6,068.
The price spread between the U.S. light, sweet crude and European Brent contracts has narrowed slightly but still remains far above usual levels of a few dollars per barrel. Europe is considered more sensitive to disruptions of Middle East oil supplies, while large U.S. stockpiles of crude are one reason for the lower U.S. quotes.

On Sunday, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, warned protesters that they risked igniting a civil war in which Libya's oil wealth "will be burned." Libya exports at least 1 million barrels of crude a day

Markets in the U.S. were closed Monday for the President's Day hoCrude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil (Vintage)liday
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