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Oil hovers above US$102 as Libya tensions flare

AP--The price of oil hovered above US$102 a barrel Tuesday as the threat of further violence in Libya threw into question the country's ability to ramp up its crude exports.

Benchmark U.S. crude for July delivery was up 18 cents to US$102.29 a barrel at 0640 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Nymex contract for June rose 12 cents to settle at US$102.73 on Monday, its last day of trading.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil, added 23 cents to US$109.60 on the ICE exchange in London.

A revolt by a rogue general has split the Islamists that dominate Libya's politics and risks an outright battle for power that could fragment the country, which has Africa's largest proven reserves of crude. Libya was a key supplier of crude to European refineries but has been struggling to stabilize oil output and exports since dictator Moammar Gadhafi was ousted in 2011.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 0.2 cent to US$2.951 a gallon.

— Natural gas added 1 cent to US$4.48 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil gained 0.4 cent to US$2.941 a gallon.

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