NewsAll eyes set on Libyan exports as crude rises above $97
AnalysisCrude traded above $97 per barrel today as traders mulled over political chaos in Libya will lead to more oil cuts and spread to other oil-rich Middle East countries.

Crude today hovers around $97 per barrel recording its highest around $97.56 and lowest around $96.40, while it currently is trading around $97.26 per barrel.

The political chaos in the Mid-East is sitll the center of attension, where Libyan oil official Shukri Ghanem yesterday said that the crude production rate had been cut in half, or by 800 thousand barrels per day; thus, making Libya the largest oil producer witnessing oil disruptions due to the political unrest. Meanwhile, Iran apprehended opposition leaders Mehdi Karrubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi in order to disrupt protests planned to be held today, however, opposition supporters were not put off and intend to continue demonstrations today.

Crude yesterday traded around $96 per barrel recording its highest around $98.86 and lowest around $96.73 per barrel, closing around $96.85 per barrel. Futures fell yesterday due to Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, agreeing to pump more oil to cover the shortage caused by Libya’s cuts. Meanwhile, trader fear that political unrest could effect OPEC's top crude producer and therby jeopordizing prices.

Investors await tomorrow’s Energy Department report that is expected to show a 1 million barrels rise in inventories from the prior 346.7 MB marking the seventh consecutive gain.

As for NYMEX as of 05:11 EST; motor gasoline rose $0.37 recording $290.340 per gallon; heating is trading around $295.510 per gallon inclining $0.55; whereas natural gasoline shed $0.52 to record $4.016. In London, Brent futures gained $0.76 to record $112.650.