22 Feb 2011

Arab-world unrest sends oil prices soaring

6:29 pm on 22 February 2011

Global oil prices are soaring because of unrest in oil-producing Middle Eastern and North African states. Libya alone produces about 2% of the world's oil supply.

The price of London's benchmark Brent crude has risen to its highest in two and a half years; it's currently fetching $US105 a barrel.

A London-based oil analyst, John Hall, says the price is being driven by fear rather than a shortage of supply.

Energy companies are evacuating some staff from Libya, and BP has suspended preparations for exploratory drilling in the western part of the country.

An analyst at Peak Oil, Chris Skrebowski, says removing staff shouldn't affect production.