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Libya Attack Lingers Above Oil Markets

Developments in Libya, though, should not be ignored as civil war in the country proved to mire oil markets in 2011.

Libya pumped about 1.6 million barrels a day before the Arab Spring and civil war broke out there, and production nearly disappeared during the conflict. The loss of that production, about 2% of the world's reserves as Smith pointed out, drove oil prices higher.

But the larger impact that oil investors may be anticipating are remarks by politicians on the situation.

"A lot of people, perhaps, could be paying attention to the response of our political leaders, and perhaps that could have an effect on the supply and demand for oil as well," said Joe Bell, senior equity analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research.

So for the immediate uproar that surrounds the attacks in Benghazi, oil investors may take a wait-and-see mentality until more information surfaces.

Integrated oil companies were trading sideways on Wednesday. Shares of ConocoPhillips (COP - Get Report) were up 0.40%, while Hess (HES - Get Report) was rising 0.27%. BP (BP - Get Report) was up 0.14%, as Chevron (CVX - Get Report) was gaining 0.25%. Shares of Exxon (XOM - Get Report) were flat.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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BP $31.42 -1.69%
COP $43.41 -3.70%
CVX $100.60 -0.71%
HES $55.33 -2.50%
XOM $87.94 -0.19%


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NASDAQ 4,725.6390 -37.5850 -0.79%

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