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Libyan Unrest Threatening Oil Supply

As Libya tumbles into the unstable chasm of unrest, protests and violent demonstrations, the fear and uncertainty of such chaos is being felt in the cost of Brent crude oil, which climbed by $1 per barrel on Monday. Libya is a member of OPEC, and was the world’s 12th leading supplier of oil in 2009, and has the largest amount of oil reserves in Africa; according to the US Energy Information Agency there are 44 billion barrels of proven oil reserves there as of January 2010.

The protests are focused on ousting the leader of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi. Protests have spread to Tripoli, Libya’s capital city, where Gadhafi’s son promised to fight against the protestors until “the last man is standing.” His remarks were made in the wake of violent clashes which left scores of protesters dead in Benghazi.

Commenting on what the world can expect from the coming days as far as oil supply is concerned, Tony Nunan, a risk-manager for the Tokyo company Mitsubishi Corp said, "In the short-term there would be a negative impact. There will be chaos and a real concern that supply could be disrupted in Libya.  The bigger issue is if it spreads to Saudi Arabia."

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