Oil prices climb above $100 a barrel

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Oil prices held above $100 a barrel early Thursday as the political upheaval in Libya has curtailed production from the North African country.

The U.S. benchmark oil contract - West Texas Intermediate - for April delivery was up $2.63, or 2.6 percent, to $100.70 a barrel, CNN reported.

"The energy market continues its upside momentum ... supported by the geopolitical unrest across the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) area," Myrto Sokou, an analyst at Sucden Financial, said in a report.

"We cannot say yet that we have entered a new era above $100 for the oil market, but the recent uncertain geopolitical conditions in the MENA definitely provide potential for even higher crude oil prices toward the $120 per barrel level," the report states.

Oil prices rose above $100 a barrel Wednesday for the first time since October 2008 before retreating to end the active trading session at $98.10 a barrel.

The U.S. weekly average price of gas per gallon rose to $3.19, up 54 cents from a year ago, and slightly higher than last week's $3.14. The most expensive regions for gas are New England at $3.23 a gallon and California at $3.56.

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