NewsCrude jumps above $96 as violence in Libya threatens supplies
AnalysisCrude soared above $96 per barrel today as traders’ fears regarding the Middle East were heightened on the political turmoil in Libya and the outbreak of violence between the government and protestors that could disrupt supplies.

Crude today hovers around $96 per barrel recording its highest around $96.22 and lowest around $95.14, while it currently is trading around $96.12 per barrel.

Traders are closely observing the Middle East, where political tensions are keeping the world on its toes specifically after Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi yesterday called on government supporters, backed by the military and armed forces, to attack anti-government protestors; according to reports so far about 1,000 deaths resulted from the violence and hundreds injured. Meanwhile, the army has taken control over the entire eastern half of the country that includes several oil-producing areas.

Crude yesterday traded around $95 per barrel recording its highest around $98.33 and lowest around $93.48 per barrel, closing around $95.38 per barrel. Futures soared yesterday due to fears overwhelming investors in the Middle East, specifically since the Libyan government is cracking down on protestors leading oil companies like Eni and Repsol – YPF to temporarily suspend production; alongside, BP has also started evacuating workers. Yemen and Libya are the eighth largest oil producing countries in OPEC, while Iran is considered the fourth largest crude producer.

Moreover, the US Energy Department is expected to release supply data tomorrow delayed for Monday's Presidents' Day Holiday in the United States. 

As for NYMEX as of 03:30 EST; motor gasoline rose $1.36 recording $263.750 per gallon; heating is trading around $281.840 per gallon inclining $0.93; whereas natural gasoline shed $0.91 to record $3.832. In London, Brent futures gained $1.46 to record $107.320.