The oil price hovered near $105 a barrel Tuesday in Asia, giving back some of the previous day's gains but still near its highest level since late 2008 as battles raged between Libyan rebels and forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.
Benchmark crude for April delivery was down 68 cents at $104.75 a barrel at late morning Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $1.02 to settle at $105.44 a barrel on Monday after nearly hitting $107, the highest level since Sept. 26, 2008.
In London, Brent crude was down 59 cents at $114.45 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange.
Libya, which sits on the largest oil reserves in Africa, has been engulfed in a four-week rebellion as militants try to oust Gadhafi after 41 years in power. Officials in the country say oil fields continue to operate, but daily exports of 1.5 million barrels could be cut off for some time.
On Monday, Libyan warplanes launched more airstrikes on rebel positions around the Ras Lanouf oil port as forces loyal to Gadhafi tried to keep rebels from advancing on his stronghold in the capital, Tripoli.