Crude futures fall $1/bbl on weak China data; Norway ends strike

10 July 2012 07:32  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Crude futures fell on Tuesday, with Brent crude down by more than $1/bbl, on concerns over a slowing down of global fuel demand, following China’s weak imports data.

At 13:50 Singapore time (06:50 GMT), US crude for August delivery was down 99 cents at $85.00/bbl, while Brent for August delivery declined $1.78/bbl at $98.54/bbl.

Crude imports of the world’s second biggest economy declined by 15% month on month to 21.7m tonnes in June, according to official data.

Meanwhile, news of the Norwegian government’s intervention to end an oil workers’ strike that was threatening oil production in the Scandinavian country eased concerns about supply disruption, which had been supporting crude prices.

Norwegian Minister of Labour Hanne Bjurstrom had called a meeting between the workers and the oil companies thirty minutes before Tuesday’s 12:01 Oslo time (10:01 GMT) lockout of 6,500 workers that would have shut oil production in Norway took effect.

“The strike lasted for 16 days and caused costs for 3.1bn NOK [Norwegian kroner] ($509m) both for the companies involved and for the Norwegian society,” the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF) said in a statement posted on its website.

OLF chief negotiator Jan Hodneland described the government’s intervention as a “responsible choice”.

Bjurstrom had declared “the conflict as over and that there will be compulsory arbitration to define the new pay agreement”, OLF said.

“We are now relieved that we do not have to shut down the production on the Norwegian continental shelf, however, we were ready to initiate a lockout if the government did not intervene,” said Hodneland.

($1 = NOK6.08)

By: Pearl Bantillo
+65 6780 4359

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