Oil rises on Libya conflict, supply concerns
U.S. crude oil price rose on Monday as a Western coalition airforce struck Libya and unrest in several Middle East countries caused concerns about crude supply safety, Xinhua reported.
Libya was the world's 15th largest oil exporter, but now its previous output of 1.6 million barrels per day has fallen sharply down. The markets expected the air attack starting from March 19 would damage oil infrastructure further and extend oil supply shortage.
Meanwhile, unrest continued in the Middle East over the weekend, including in Syria, Yemen and Bahrain. Tension also increased between Bahrain and Iran. Uncertainty across the region reinforced concerns about potential threats to oil supply, which pushed oil prices higher.
But worries about oil demand in Japan's quake-hit economy helped pull oil prices back from early peaks.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery gained 1.26 dollars to settle at 102.33 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude for May delivery also rose and last traded near 115 dollars a barrel.