(EMAILWIRE.COM, January 31, 2011 ) Boca Raton, FL - The price of Brent crude oil has hit US$100 a barrel for the first time since October 2008 on concerns that the uprising against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak could disrupt the flow of oil through the Suez Canal.
Brent rose 65 cents to US$100.07 a barrel in afternoon trading on fears that protests could disrupt oil supplies.
A wider conflagration in the region could threaten the flow of oil at a time when policymakers in emerging markets are already bedeviled by high food and fuel prices and some developed economies have been gaining momentum.
For the global economy, Egypt is less important, though it does matter for access to the Suez Canal, a key oil distribution route," ANZ Bank economist Sharon Zollner said in a note to clients.
"The greater fear is that the turmoil could spread to other Middle East countries. If that happens, then all bets on oil prices are off."
Egypt controls the Suez Canal and the Suez-Mediterranean (SUMED) Pipeline, which between them moved more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude and oil products in 2009.
"The Suez Canal is working at full capacity and has not been affected by the current situation," a canal official told Egyptian television today.
"Traders are buying dips on fears that things could escalate further in the Middle East and spread to other countries," Tom Bentz, a broker at BNP Paribas in New York, told Reuters.
"Everything is still moving and there is no loss of shipping. But there are still concerns - nothing has gone away."
About Manas Petroleum Inc.
Manas Petroleum is an international oil and gas company with primary focus on exploration and development in South-Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Mongolia. In Albania, Manas participates in a 1.7 million acre exploration project through its equity interest in Petromanas Energy Inc., a Canadian public company. In Kyrgyzstan, Manas has signed a US $54 million farm-out agreement with Santos International Holdings Pty Ltd., a subsidiary of Australia's third largest oil and gas company. In addition to the development of its Kyrgyzstan project, Santos is developing the company's neighboring Tajikistan license under an option farm out agreement. In Mongolia, Manas owns record title to the two Production Sharing Contracts covering Blocks XIII and XIV through its wholly-owned subsidiary DWM Petroleum AG, but 26% of the beneficial ownership interest in these blocks is held in trust for others.
Manas Petroleum is the largest shareholder of Petromanas. DWM, a wholly owned subsidiary of Manas Petroleum now has ownership and control over 200,000,000 common shares of Petromanas and the right to acquire a further 50,000,000 common shares of Petromanas. The 200,000,000 common shares represent 32.36% of the issued and outstanding common shares of Petromanas. Assuming DWM acquired the additional 50,000,000 common shares it would hold 250,000,000 common shares representing 37.42% of the partially diluted issued and outstanding shares of Petromanas.
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