Strikes at refineries push up oil prices

A gas nozzle in the fuel port of a car.


Lisa Napoli: Today the Euro edged up against the dollar and the yen. And the price of oil is a whisker away from an all time high. One-hundred-twenty bucks a barrel. From London, Stephen Beard says a strike at a British refinery is partly to blame.

Stephen Beard: A local dispute about pensions has helped push up the global price of crude. Workers at the Grangemouth refinery in Scotland walked out yesterday in a two-day strike over pension-rights. The action caused a series of knock-on effects. BP depends on the refinery for power to run a key North Sea pipeline. That pipeline's now been closed temporarily. Seven hundred thousand barrels of oil a day have been lost. And that, says analyst Peter Kemp, has pushed up the all-important benchmark price of North Sea Brent crude.

Peter Kemp: Every other crude, which is priced off Brent, will ramp up accordingly. So, it's a local problem, which has global ripple effects.

A strike at Exxon facilities in Nigeria is putting similar upward pressure on oil prices. A further sign, says Kemp, of the febrile state of the oil market.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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