Oil rose toward $56 a barrel on Monday, supported by another shutdown at Libya's largest oilfield over the weekend and geopolitical tensions following last week's U.S. missile strike on Syria.
Libya's Sharara oilfield was shut on Sunday after a group blocked a pipeline linking it to an oil terminal, a Libyan oil source said. The field had only just returned to production, after a week-long stoppage ending in early April.
The outage adds fuel to a rally that started late last week after the United States fired missiles at a Syrian government air base. While analysts point out that Syria produces only small volumes of oil, the Middle East is home to more than a quarter of the world's oil output.
"There are a few geopolitical problems at the moment. On top of that, Libya isn't producing oil, so that's adding to the bullish side of the market," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.