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The Associated Press March 2, 2011, 9:14AM ET

Oil jumps above $100 per barrel

Oil prices have topped $100 per barrel as the New York Mercantile Exchange opens for trading.

Prices rose Wednesday morning as fighting escalated in Libya, a major oil exporter to Europe. Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi pushed back against protestors in the eastern half of the country, battling for control of a key oil installation and an airstrip.

Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute estimated that oil and gasoline supplies dropped last week in the U.S.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate for April delivery added 80 cents to $100.43 per barrel. In London, Brent crude added 97 cents to $115.97 per barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange.

Meanwhile gasoline pump prices in the U.S. have risen to almost $3.39 per gallon, according to AAA.

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