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Brent crude up USD 2/bbl on supply concerns amid Libya, MidEast woes

February 28/2011

(ICIS) -- Brent crude futures spiked more than USD 2/bbl (EUR1.5/bbl) on Monday on heightened concerns about global oil supply disruption amid unabated political upheavals in Libya and in other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. There were concerns that the political unrest could spread to other major oil-producing countries.

At 04:33 GMT, April Brent crude on Londons ICE futures was trading at USD114.32/bbl, up USD2.18/bbl from the previous close, while WTI crude was up USD1.74/bbl at USD99.62bbl.

Brent crude jumped to as high as USD119.79/bbl on 25 February before retreating. Crude prices settled off highs late last week on reports that Saudi Arabia had increased its output to compensate for the reduction in Libyas crude production.

Foreign oil companies with operations in Libya such as Italys ENI and UKs BP halted some operations because of the political uprising and the violence that ensued.

Political chaos continued in Libya over the weekend, with the countrys leader Muammar Gaddafi vowing to cling on to his 41-year rule despite the massive public protests.

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