Oil price hits two-year high as Libya fears intensify

The oil price of Brent crude rocketed to a two-and-half year high today to more than $108 a barrel on the back of on-going tensions in Libya. And Energy Minister […]

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By Kelvin Ross

The oil price of Brent crude rocketed to a two-and-half year high today to more than $108 a barrel on the back of on-going tensions in Libya.

And Energy Minister Charles Hendry used a speech today at the International Energy Forum in Saudi Arabia to stress the UK’s “agenda of shifting away from the oil hook and onto secure low carbon sources of energy”.

Mr Hendry said that the current oil prices “underline the fundamental importance of international collaboration to enhance oil price stability”.

The International Energy Forum is the world’s largest gathering of energy ministers and Mr Hendry said its talks today “are an important milestone in our efforts to improve the functioning of energy markets, and demonstrate the firm commitment of Opec, IEA, oil producers and consumers to act together on this hugely important agenda”.

“It is important that those countries that are capable of doing so respond to market imbalance by increasing production, so increased demand can be met at prices that will not damage world economic growth.”

And he added: “The high level of the oil price is also a reminder of the importance of the UK’s domestic agenda of shifting away from the oil hook and onto secure low carbon sources of energy in the long run.”

Mr Hendry chaired an IEF session examining drivers of volatility which committed to greater transparency of oil market data, to reduce uncertainty on developments in current energy markets.

The meeting also agreed to further analysis of the drivers of price volatility, in particular the interaction of physical and financial oil markets.

IEF countries account for more than 90% of global oil and gas supply and demand. In addition to IEA and Opec countries, key energy players such as Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa participate in the forum.