The price of oil fell edged above $100 a barrel Monday as Russia's annexation of Crimea and Libya's continued difficulties to stabilize its oil industry worried investors.
Russia is a key supplier of crude oil and natural gas to Europe while Libya's production of crude, valued by refiners for its high quality, has yet to recover fully since the 2011 civil war which ousted Moammar Gadhafi.
"The supply risks should still lend support to the oil prices, for there is no sign as yet of Libyan production recovering," analysts at Commerzbank in Frankfurt said in a note to clients. "Furthermore, if the West were to impose additional sanctions on Russia, this could — at least theoretically — curb Russian oil exports and justify a certain price premium."
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery was up 79 cents at $100.25 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline added 2.82 cents to $2.9278 a gallon.
— Heating oil rose 1.51 cents to $2.9285 a gallon.
— Natural gas lost 3.7 cents to $4.276 per 1,000 cubic feet.