Oil fell after Norway ended a strike that threatened to halt
output by western Europe's largest crude exporter and as China
reduced purchases of the raw material, Bloomberg reported.
Futures dropped as much as 1.6% in New York after Norway's
government ordered compulsory arbitration in the dispute,
preventing a platform workers' lockout scheduled to start at
midnight yesterday. China's net crude imports fell to the lowest
level this year, according to customs data today.
Crude oil for August delivery declined US$1.22, or 1.4%, to
US$84.77 a barrel at 2.13 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Prices have decreased 14% this year.
Brent oil for August settlement fell US$1.67, or 1.7%, to
US$98.65 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Brent's premium to West Texas Intermediate crude, the grade traded
in New York, was at US$13.88 a barrel, down from US$14.33
Norway announced the arbitration in a statement published on the
Oslo-based Labor Ministry's website today. The strike, which
started June 24, disrupted about 15% of the nation's oil output,
the Oil Industry Association said June 27. The nation pumps about
1.8% of global consumption, data from the Norwegian Petroleum
Statoil ASA (
), Norway's largest energy company, said it will resume full
production within a week.
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