Libyan unrest sees cost of oil rise in Northern Ireland

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The price of central heating oil has increased sharply in NI after violence in Libya disrupted output.

The latest 2.5 pence a litre increase has left a 900 litre fill at £537.

Libya accounts for just over 2% of world production but the fear is that unrest could spread to larger oil producing nations.

Retailers are also warning that petrol and diesel prices are set to rise.

At one stage on Thursday Brent crude spiked close to $120 a barrel.

Ken Hylands, chair of the NI Oil Federation said prices should start to fall when stability returns to Libya.

"There's plenty of oil in Northern Ireland and there's not a shortage of oil, and at the end of the day oil prices are high at the minute, but they'll come back down again when things settle down in the Middle East."

Consumers in Northern Ireland are seeing heating oil increases on an almost daily basis.

After two price increases already this week, one of the major local suppliers again hiked prices this afternoon.

While there may be some cheaper deals still available, the overall market trend is sharply higher.

There is growing pressure on oil exporting countries to help stabilise the market by increasing production.