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Brent below $100 as Norway strike ends

10 july 2012, 13:08
0
An oil platform in the Norwegian sea. ©AFP
An oil platform in the Norwegian sea. ©AFP
Brent crude fell below $100 in Asia Tuesday, hours after a Norwegian crude supply disruption due to an oil workers' strike was ended by the government, AFP reports.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in August dived 77 cents to $85.22 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for August delivery plunged $1.62 to $98.70.

A resumption of crude production in Norway after the government stepped in to end an offshore workers' strike was pulling prices south, said Nick Trevethan, senior commodities strategist for ANZ Research.

"After the government stepped in and ordered a settlement to the strike, that's returned one to two million barrels per day of oil to the market. That's having a relatively bearish impact on prices right now," he told AFP.

Authorities intervened just minutes ahead of a threatened lockout of Norway's oil production sites, and ended a 16-day strike by hundreds of workers in Western Europe's largest oil and gas producer.

The workers wanted employers to reconsider a decision not to grant special benefits to those who wish to retire at the age of 62, three years before the legal retirement age in the field and five years before the country-wide age.

The lockout, which was to have been enforced from midnight on Monday, had loomed after talks between employers and unions failed to end a prolonged strike which began on June 24.

Norwegian old giant Staoil, the group most hit by the strike, said in a statement that it was "preparing to resume production at installations that have been affected".

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