NEW YORK, Mar.2 -- U.S. oil price rose on Wednesday and settled for the first time above 100 U.S. dollars since September 2008, as unrest in Libya continued and U.S. crude inventories dropped.
On Wednesday airstrikes happened close to the oil fields in Libya and investors and traders were concerned that the supply disruption of this OPEC member state would last for more time.
Libya's National Oil Corporation Chairman Shokri Ghanem estimated that Libya's oil output has reduced to 700,000 to 750, 000 barrels per day because of departure of most foreign workers. He said if the unrest continues, oil price could hit 130 dollars a barrel this month.
And the situation of other countries in the area of North Africa and Middle East was not stable at all, which caused great anxieties about long-term oil supply pressure.
Meanwhile, the Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude inventories fell 400,000 barrels to 346.4 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 25, ending its six weeks of straight rise.
Experts expected oil price would keep rising as supply disrupted at the time of demand picking up.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery gained 2.60 dollars, or 2. 61 percent to settle at 102.23 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, having surged about 20 percent since the breakout of Libya's unrest.
In London, Brent crude also surged and last traded around 117 dollars a barrel.