Turmoil: The unrest in Libya has sparked fears that violence will spill over to other nations in the Middle East
Oil price surges to $119 amid fears of wider unrest across the Middle EastBy Daily Mail Reporter
24th February 2011
The price of oil reached its highest level in 30 months in London on Thursday as the continuing crisis in Libya reduced shipments amid fears of wider unrest across the Middle East.
Brent crude soared to $119 for the first time since August 2008, while benchmark crude for April delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange increased by nearly four dollars at $101.67.
The ongoing crisis has prompted many Western oil companies, such as Italian group Eni and Spain's Repsol-YPF, to halt production in Libya, while British giant BP has evacuated employees.
The jump in the price of oil could signal further economic woes for motorists in Britain, with a group of petrol retailers predicting further increases at the pump.
Brian Madderson, chairman of RMI Petrol, the petrol retailers' association, said: ‘This is further bad news for motorists and forecourts as this increase looks set to coincide with the introduction of the previous Government's ill thought-out fuel duty escalator adding a further 5p per litre at the pump - in total a 10p-per-litre jump.’
Analysts have also expressed concerns that Nymex crude could break its 2008 record of around $147 if the unrest spreads across the region, especially in countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Analyst Michael Hewson, of CMC Markets, said the surge in oil prices was driven by a combination of restricted production and speculation.
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