Oil prices spiked by over two dollars following escalating violence in Libya, as allied forces fired on Libyan defense sites and the military called for an immediate cease-fire. Brent crude rose by over a dollar to US$114.9. However, concerns abound about the geographical extent of the tensions in the Middle East, as protests abound in Yemen, Bahrain and Oman.
Though Libya is Africa's third-largest oil producer with the continent's largest reserves, it only contributes about 2% of the 87.5 mln bpd of oil the world consumes. As per International Energy Agency estimates, about 1 mln bpd of Libyan oil had been taken off the world market so far. Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have pledged to increase production to make up for any lost oil due to unrest in Libya.