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Oil back above $100 on Russia, Libya supply risks

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 24, 2014 at 8:54 am •  Published: March 24, 2014

The price of oil fell edged above $100 a barrel Monday as Russia's annexation of Crimea and Libya's continued difficulties to stabilize its oil industry worried investors.

Russia is a key supplier of crude oil and natural gas to Europe while Libya's production of crude, valued by refiners for its high quality, has yet to recover fully since the 2011 civil war which ousted Moammar Gadhafi.

"The supply risks should still lend support to the oil prices, for there is no sign as yet of Libyan production recovering," analysts at Commerzbank in Frankfurt said in a note to clients. "Furthermore, if the West were to impose additional sanctions on Russia, this could — at least theoretically — curb Russian oil exports and justify a certain price premium."

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery was up 79 cents at $100.25 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, the Nymex contract rose 56 cents to $99.46.

Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, was up 49 cents to $107.41 a barrel

Prices were also underpinned by a Saturday oil spill which closed the Houston Ship Channel. A barge carrying about 900,000 gallons of heavy, tar-like oil collided with a ship in the Texas waterway, spilling about a fifth of its cargo.

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