Oil prices jumped more than $1 a barrel on Tuesday, pushing North Sea Brent and U.S. light crude to 2015 highs, after protests stopped crude flows to the eastern Libyan oil port of Zueitina, hampering exports.
Oil was also supported by news that Saudi Arabia had raised its official selling prices for its Arab Light grade crude to the United States and Northwest Europe, pointing to strong demand in those regions.
Brent crude oil climbed to a high of $68.23 a barrel, up $1.78 and its highest since Dec. 8, before easing back slightly to around $67.77 by 10:08 a.m. EDT (1408 GMT).
U.S. crude oil jumped $1.85 to a high of $60.78 a barrel, also its highest since December. The contract last traded at $60.35, up $1.42.
“Higher OSPs for Europe and the United States seem to point to healthy demand for Saudi oil,” Carsten Fritsch, senior oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt, told Reuters Global Oil Forum.