Oil prices jump as Libyan unrest intensifies

Oil prices rose to near $103 a barrel Friday as Libyan government and rebel forces dug in amid fierce fighting while protests restarted in the capital Tripoli, raising investor fears of protracted oil output cuts.

Prices at the gas pump continue to skyrocket here in Alabama.  The state's average price per gallon for gas jumped four cents overnight to $3.39. That's still below the national average of $3.47.

Only  a week ago in Alabama, gas prices were about $3.20 a gallon. A month ago today: only $2.97.

On Thursday, rebels bolstered defenses around Libya's second-largest oil refinery in Brega while government fighter jets bombed nearby the Mediterranean port city. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime apparently has stepped up its recruitment of mercenaries from other African countries, with an official in neighboring Mali saying that 200 to 300 men have left for Libya in the last week.

On Friday, protesters renewed marches in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, calling for Gadhafi's ouster. Last week, similar protests were met by a brutal crackdown.

President Barack Obama reiterated calls for Gadhafi, who has been in power for 41 years, to resign and leave the country.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.