Oil prices rose to over $102 today on increasing worries about the tension in the Middle East following the UN’s approval of military action to contain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

US crude for April delivery increased by $1.49 to stand at $102.91, and Brent rose by $1.10 to $116 by 03.25 ET, reports Reuters.

In an emergency session the UN Security Council authorised military action to protect civilians against Gaddafi’s forces, and passed a resolution for a no-fly zone to halt government troops, now 100km from Benghazi.

Elsewhere, Japan’s earthquake raised concerns about reduced demand from the world’s third-largest oil user, triggering a drop in Brent two days ago.

The high oil prices and Japan’s disaster is expected to affect the nascent global economic recovery.