Brent oil slipped close to $60 a barrel on Wednesday, after Saudi Arabia hikes prices and political instability threatened future production in Libya.

The world's top oil producer raised official selling prices for oil deliveries to the United States and Asia on Tuesday.

Brent crude prices have recovered from around $45 a barrel in early January, despite the persistence of market fundamentals that caused the price collapse.

Oil prices halved in the second half of last year, amid a global supply glut and weak demand.

Saudi Arabia has exuded confidence since oil prices began sliding in the middle of last year, maintaining production levels as in an attempt to retain market share.

Its latest move to boost prices shows a growing confidence that the market has already bottomed reached its low point and that demand should recover so much that it can raise prices without losing customers.

Airstrikes on oil terminals in Libya helped support prices, as the OPEC-member's production levels continue to flounder around 400,000 barrels per day.

In the months before long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011, Libya was producing around 1.6 million barrels a day.

Four years later, the country is in the grips of a civil war between rival governments. Oil facilities have come increasingly under attack in recent weeks, keeping production levels well below the pre-war era.