Oil prices climb on growing Middle East unrest


NEW YORK – Oil prices are rising as traders keep an eye on the Middle East, where labor protests flared in Egypt and anti-government demonstrations spread to Libya.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery on Wednesday rose 27 cents to $84.57 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude added 76 cents at $102.40 per barrel.

Analyst Fadel Gheit noted that the regime change in Egypt could bleed into other countries and cause supply disruptions in Saudi Arabia and other major producers.

Prices are rising even though oil supplies are expected to grow in the U.S., the world’s largest petroleum consumer. The government is expected to report on Wednesday that oil supplies grew by 2.8 million barrels last week, according to Platts.


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