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Oil prices rise Related to Political Crisis in Yemen

Oil prices rose on Tuesday linked the turmoil in Yemen which threatens energy exports from the Gulf region.

French oil giant Total (TOTF.PA) warned buyers of liquefied natural gas from Yemen LNG project that shipments from the country could face obstacles because of increased political crisis, although it is normal for this time.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Yemen on Tuesday, shouted at President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. Several top officials have left Saleh, who warned that the country would descend into civil war if he was forced to quit.

Yemen produces about 290,000 bpd of oil, mostly for export, and to ship transported 0.9 billion cubic feet per day of LNG, approximately 9 percent of Qatar's LNG exporters.

In Libya, a bloody battle between the regime of Muammar Qaddafi and the rebels who control the east of the country has reduced oil production from OPEC nations about 75 percent, to below 400,000 barrels per day.

"The situation in the Middle East is still very bullish for oil," said Phil Flynn, analyst at PFGBEST Research in Chicago. "The unrest spread over the conflict in Libya is still a market focus."

Brent crude for May rose 74 cents to settle at $ 115.70 per barrel. U.S. crude oil futures for July rose 1.67% to settle at $ 104 per barrel. More active May contract settled up $ 1.88 per barrel at $ 104.97.

"Generally, the Middle East tensions will strengthen Brent," said Bill O'Grady at Confluence Investment Management in St. Louis.

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