Oil prices soared to almost $120 a barrel on Thursday amid fears that the unrest in Libya and Bahrain could spread to other oil-rich countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia. Brent crude leapt $8.54 to $119.79 a barrel, the highest price since August 2008. It closed at $112.20 on Wednesday, up 5.4% on the day. Oil prices have gained 15% in the past four days as the revolt in Libya cut more than a quarter of the country's output. US crude for April delivery rallied to $103.41, the highest since September 2009. Stock markets around the world tumbled again, with the FTSE 100 index in London down more than 20 points at 5901.16. The Dax in Frankfurt dropped about 80 points and the CAC in Paris fell nearly 30 points. Overnight, the Nikkei in Tokyo closed down 1.2%. Markets worry that the unrest could spread to Saudi Arabia, which pumps a tenth of the world's oil and is the only country with significant spare capacity that could be used to plug supply shortages. Analysts at Goldman Sachs said further disruptions could create "severe" oil shortages that would require "substantial demand rationing". "The market cannot accommodate another disruption, in our view, with the problems in Libya potentially absorbing half of Opec's spare capacity," said commodity analyst Jeffrey Currie. "Although we still see contagion to the large energy producers in the Gulf as relatively low, the stakes associated with further contagion are now much higher, which creates even further upside risk to our price forecasts."