Oil prices jumped by as much as $1 per barrel on Thursday on unconfirmed reports that Saudi King Abdullah was seriously ill or may even have died.
Saudi officials were not available for immediate comment, and prices later eased back as traders discounted the rumours.
North Sea Brent crude oil futures for March jumped to a high of $102.88 per barrel their highest for a week, up $1.06 on the rumours before slipping back to around $102.40 by 1100 GMT.
U.S. light crude oil futures for March gained around 50 cents to a high of $87.07 per barrel.
"Investors are very focused on (the) Middle East now and these kind of rumours support prices," said Thorbjoern Jensen, analyst at Global Risk Management.
ReutersLast Mod: 10 Şubat 2011, 13:18