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Crisis In Libya Causes Gas Prices To Keep Climbing

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(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is at $3.973, but it could soon top $4.

Oil prices are climbing Monday as traders prepare for prolonged fighting in Libya and continue to worry about supply disruptions that might occur elsewhere in the region.

Benchmark West Texas crude for May delivery gained $1.81, nearly two percent, at $103.68 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

International forces including the U.S. smashed Libya’s air defenses over the weekend, and a top French official said Monday that international intervention could last “awhile.”

Oil traders said they’re increasingly concerned about political stability in North Africa and the Middle East, which produces 27 percent of the world’s oil. The Libyan uprising has halted that country’s exports, and experts said it’s unclear when oil shipments will return.

Trading in April crude ends Tuesday. That contract rose $1.33 to $102.40 on the Nymex.

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