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The civil war in Libya is still far from over. Ras Lanuf, a coastal town between the big cities of Tripoli and Benghazi is one of the focal points of fighting at the moment. This port town sends a significant amount of Libya’s oil to the world. Currently the rebels are still in control of this city, but their advance has stopped. When they tried to move forward to Bin Jawad, they were forced to retreat.

Their aim is to reach Gaddafi’s home town of Sirt, a town which is well defended. If it falls to the hands of the rebels, the road to Tripoli will be open. But they are still struggling. If they retreat to Ras Lanuf and fighting commences there, oil dispatching could be further disturbed.

In additional Libyan news, there reports of heavy gunfire early on Sunday in Tripoli. While the government reported that these are celebrations of military victories, they are probably another example that even Tripoli ins’t fully controlled by Gaddafi. Shots were heard also in Gaddafi’s neighborhood – but there were no reports that Gaddafi was killed or hurt.

WTI Crude oil already passed the $104 mark and it might further rise when markets reopen on Monday. Oil producing countries such as Canada see their currency rise as a result. The US dollar is retreating since oil began rising.

Obama might use the strategic oil reserves that the US holds in order to lower the price of oil, which is felt strongly in the US, where taxation is relatively low on oil, and every move is felt. In Europe, the high taxes prevent sharp moves.

Further reading:

  • Saudi Day of Rage Pushes Oil Prices Higher – Saudi Arabia is a much larger oil producer, and Shiite protests there are also rocking oil prices.
  • Gaddafi to Zimbabwe? Libyan Opposition Closes on Tripoli – Robert Mugabe could host the troubled Libyan leader, if the rebels do succeed.
  • Saudi Protests Threaten Oil Prices – The first wave of protests will probably be followed by a big protest on March 11th.
  • Canadian dollar forecast – What you should know if you’re trading the loonie, CAD/USD or USD/CAD.