The price of oil reached above $96 a barrel today over fears that protests in Libya could spread to other top oil-producing countries and reduce output.

Oil stood at $96.08 a barrel at 10.00 GMT, the highest level since October 2008, while Brent crude increased 58¢ to $106.36 a barrel, reports Reuters.

The conflict in Libya has resulted in three oil firms halting output in the country, which produces 1.6 million barrels per day, or nearly 2% of global oil supplies.

These production stoppages mark the first reductions in oil supply resulting from the protests in the Middle East and Africa, and are increasing fears about the impact of such unrest on oil flows from Saudi Arabia and Iran, the world’s largest and second-largest oil producers, respectively.