Oil hits $120 after strike in Gabon

Posted: April 5, 2011 in World News

Javier Blas
Financial Times
April 5, 2011

Oil prices rose above $120 a barrel for the first time since mid-2008 on Monday as supply disruption in Gabon, a small African producing nation, compounded continuing losses from Libya.

The outages come just as refiners in the Atlantic basin are expanding their operations ahead of the driving season, the summer holiday period when US petrol demand surges, bidding up the market for high-quality, light, low-sulphur crude oil.

Although oil strikes are relatively normal in west Africa and Gabon is a small producer, the stoppage comes at a time of particular sensitivity to any disruption in the market as a result of the conflict in Libya and unrest in the Middle East.

In London, ICE May Brent rose to a session high of $120.63 a barrel, the highest since August 2008. It later traded at $120.13 a barrel, up $1.44 on the day. In New York, Nymex May West Texas Intermediate rose to a session high of $108.78.

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