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Oil Prices Top $100, Settle at $98.10 on Wednesday

February 23, 2011

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The price of oil topped the $100 mark in mid-day trading on Wednesday as supply concerns worsened with the advancing strife in Libya.
Diesel prices are following the trend in oil pricing. The national average price rose on Wednesday to $3.61 -- up nearly a dime from last week.
Diesel prices are following the trend in oil pricing. The national average price rose on Wednesday to $3.61 -- up nearly a dime from last week.
It was the first time since the fall of 2008 oil has been that high.

Unrest in the Middle East and other North African countries already had analysts concerned, but Wednesday's actions in the Libyan capitol of Tripoli sent the price over the magic mark.

West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery rose $2.68, or 2.8 percent, to settle at $98.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after earlier crossing the triple-digit threshold. In London, Brent crude added $5.47, or 5 percent, at $111.25 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Several oil companies in the region have already suspended production out of concern for employee safety. Barclay's Capital has estimated that close to 1 million barrels of output has already dried up, and say more is likely to follow.

The International Energy Agency said in a statement on its website that it is ready "to make oil available to the market in the event of a major supply disruption." The Wall Street Journal reports that the IEA plans to meet this week to discuss the possible release of strategic stockpiles, if necessary.

That, and recent assurances from Saudi officials that production losses in Libya could be offset by increased production there, have so far failed to ease tensions in oil markets.

Diesel prices are following the trend in oil pricing. The national average price rose on Wednesday to $3.61 -- up nearly a dime from last week.

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