If the oil price was not jittery enough over the Iranian seizure of 15 British sailors and marines, the news from Nigeria over the last few days has not helped stabilise the increasingly volatile oil price.

Early on Saturday morning militant youths seized the Scottish off-shore installation manager for the Bulford Dolphin rig that is around 40 miles south of the Niger Delta.

Then earlier today, gunmen seized two foreign workers from their work compound in the southern Bayelsa state. In response to the news, London Brent crude for May delivery was up 21 cents at $US 68.31 per barrel. This brings to nearly 70 foreigners that have been taken since the beginning of the year, although most are released unharmed.