Brent crude oil futures were approaching their highest prices in 30 months amidst threats against exports of the commodity caused by tumult and uprisings in the oil-rich regions of the Middle East and North Africa, Bloomberg reports.
The U.S.-led alliance of warplanes struck Libyan ground forces loyal to Muammar Gadhafi and an air base inside the country. Portugal is reportedly on the brink of requesting a bailout for its debt-hobbled banks, and some estimates peg the price tag at $99 billion.
"The Middle East is still a major concern," said Tom Bentz, a broker with BNP Paribas Commodity Futures in New York, told Bloomberg. "Fighting continues in Libya and there are problems in other countries. We have concerns about the euro zone again with Portugal."
Shortly after 12 a.m. on Thursday, Brent crude oil futures were up 0.55 percent, a 0.64 cent rise to $114.91 per barrel.
"We're seeing continued momentum behind prices," Matt Smith, a commodities analyst for Summit Energy in Louisville, Kentucky, told the news service. "There's no encouragement to sell off with so much uncertainty, not just with Libya but Yemen, and we've also got Syria this week."
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