The price of Brent crude oil has hit $100 a barrel for the first time since October 2008 on concerns about the political unrest in Egypt.
Analyst David Hunter from M&C Energy Group, one of the largest purchasers of energy in the UK, commented.
"The Brent crude oil price has been inching towards the $100/barrel level for weeks now, and M&C predicted it would breach the target. All traders needed was a specific reason, and the spreading of North African political unrest towards the Middle East has been the catalyst.
"There are concerns over possible disruption to supply from the Gulf states, particularly via Egypt’s Suez canal, which sees as much as 4 million barrels pass through each day by tanker or pipeline. Although unlikely, should this vital supply route be cut there would be major implications for European supply of oil, and potentially liquefied natural gas.
"In recent days and weeks, we have seen prices at the pump head towards record levels in the UK, and a scandal in domestic heating oil just before Christmas. While OPEC and Saudi Arabia are moving to reassure Western consumers that supply is plentiful, the effects of the $30 gain in oil prices since the summer are being felt in the wallets of already stretched British consumers."