NEW YORK, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices surged on Tuesday, in the wake of news of an explosion at a Libyan oil pipeline.
Unknown gunmen on Tuesday blew up an oil pipeline in eastern Libya, causing a possible drop of crude oil production of 70,000 to 100,000 barrels per day, according to the state-owned National Oil Corporation.
"An explosion hit the oil pipeline of Zaqut-Sidra of Al-Waha Co., which connects the oil fields and Sidra oil port," the corporation said in a statement.
Oil prices soared to two-and-a-half-year highs after the news.
On the economic front, the number of rigs operating in U.S. oil fields was unchanged at a total of 747 rigs last week, oilfield service firm Baker Hughes said in its weekly report on Friday.
The West Texas Intermediate for February delivery increased 1.50 U.S. dollars to settle at 59.97 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for February delivery rose 1.77 dollars to close at 67.02 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.