Oil prices rose above $107 on Friday in Asia, amid concerns that escalating fighting between the rebels and Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in Libya would lead to disruption of oil exports from the OPEC nation for longer than expected.
Benchmark crude for May delivery was up 36 cents to $107.08 a barrel at 12.00 noon Singapore time on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while the Brent crude was up 17 cents at $117.19 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange in London.
Light sweet crude for May delivery rose $2.45 or 2.35 percent to close at $106.72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday, its highest close since September 2008.
Analysts said the prolonged fighting between Gadhafi loyalists and rebels would hurt oil supplies from Libya for some more time.
Gadhafi’s forces on Thursday intensified fighting against the rebels, re-occupying the key oil town of Brega, AP reported.
Rebel forces in Libya on Sunday occupied a pair of eastern coastal cities, Brega and Ras Lanuf, which included much of the nation's oil refining and exporting facilities.
A significant part of Libya’s oil output of 1.6 million barrels per day has been cut since the rebellion against Gadhafi began in February.