Oil prices rise on uncertainty after Chavez death

Oil prices climbed in Asian trade Wednesday on uncertainty in the markets following the death of Hugo Chavez, president of major Latin American crude producer Venezuela, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, added 19 cents to $91.01 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for April delivery rose 53 cents to $112.14.

"Oil is trading... higher with a touch of uncertainty in the (Latin American) region," said Jason Hughes, head of premium client management at IG Markets Singapore.

He said the impact of left-wing leader Chavez's death has yet to be fully felt but traders are watching for signs of instability in Venezuela, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

"It will be interesting to see how things develop," given that Venezuela is a major OPEC producer and "there is a potential for instability in the country," he told AFP.

Chavez, 58, lost his battle with cancer on Tuesday, plunging the oil-rich nation into an uncertain future.

str-mba/jw