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Crude oil futures end higher as Libya violence raises risks to supply

Crude oil futures ended higher on Friday as violence in Libya raised the risks to the nation's oil production and economic data from China helped ease concerns over a slowdown in energy demand. Risks to oil production from Libya, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), continue to support prices. Mustafa Sanalla, chairman of the country's National Oil Corporation, said that Libya's energy industry faces the worst threat since the 2011 civil war following the latest outbreak of fighting. He added 'unless the problem is solved very quickly, I am afraid this will affect our operations, and soon we will not be able to produce oil or gas'.

Benchmark crude oil futures for May added 31 cents or 0.5 percent to settle at $63.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. June Brent crude gained 72 cents or 1 percent to settle at $71.55 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.

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