Oil above $107 per barrel

Oil prices rose above $107 a barrel Friday in Asia as investors worried a prolonged civil conflict in Libya will keep the OPEC nation’s crude exports off the market longer than expected.

Benchmark crude for May delivery was up 36 cents to $107.08 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $2.45 to settle at $106.72 on Thursday.

In London, Brent crude was up 17 cents at $117.19 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange.

On Thursday, forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi continued to push back rebels, recapturing the key oil town of Brega. Most of Libya’s 1.6 million barrels a day of crude output capacity has been shut down since the uprising began in February.

“The counteroffensive by Gadhafi loyalists has made it clear that we are miles from the end-zone and even further from the end-game,” Cameron Hanover said in a report. “And Libyan oil is unlikely to return to the market any time soon.”

In other Nymex trading for April contracts, heating oil fell 0.8 cent to $3.11 a gallon and gasoline added 2.1 cents to $3.11 a gallon. Natural gas dropped 0.8 cent to $4.38 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Source: AP

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