Oil prices rise

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Oil prices rose today amid concerns over Nigerian delivery problems and whether US inventories can match summer demand.

Analysts said that a lack of leeway in the US market would continue to drive up prices, with the summer driving season only weeks away. Supplies may not meet peak demand at the height of the US driving season, which begins on Memorial Day weekend at the end of May.

At the New York Mercantile Exchange, the price of light, sweet crude was up 55 cents today to $62.92 per barrel. At ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent crude for June delivery increased by 51 cents in price to $67.34.

Strong demand, low imports and unplanned outages and scheduled maintenance at refineries have seen prices rise since the beginning of February - while the ongoing violence in Nigeria, which has cut off supply of 800,000 barrels per day, has also had a contributing effect.

A Nigerian worker at Italian company Agip was grabbed by six gunmen dressed in military fatigues today (Monday) in the latest incident to plague the country's southern oil region.

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