The price of oil rose Wednesday as violence escalated in Iraq's northern city of Mosul, with commodity analysts warning CNBC of an imminent oil spike if fighting in the country spreads south.
Confirmation came from new agency Reuters on Tuesday evening that The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), an al-Qaeda splinter group, had seized control of Mosul after four days of heavy fighting. Reuters reported Wednesday afternoon that a further city, Tikrit, had also fallen into rebel hands.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has asked parliament to declare a state of emergency while reports state that 500,000 people have fled the city.
"It's probably the beginning of a long-standing civil war between the two major Islamic parties and, in time, I expect to see a northern Iraq and a southern Iraq without any outside intervention. It's probably the path ahead," Jay Richards, a commodity analyst at Just Spreads, told CNBC Wednesday.