Dearer oil as more troops readied

Crisis in the Middle East looks set to be a focus of the world’s energy markets. Light Sweet and Brent Crude finished last week lower than record highs of the previous week.

But prices were still up on news that Israel had mobilised reservists, potentially for a large-scale invasion of Lebanon.

Oil traders will keep an eye on U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as she begins a Middle East visit today. Over the weekend, a Saudi Arabian official said OPEC producers wanted to avoid high oil prices that could harm global economic growth. Saudi Arabia holds most of OPEC's spare production capacity of around two million barrels a day.