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Strike by North Sea Workers Seen Pushing Up Crude Prices

From Reuters

A strike by catering workers in the North Sea that threatens to spread to other oil workers unions and shut down Norwegian production is expected to have a dramatic impact on cash and futures markets, raising prices by perhaps $1 a barrel today, U.S. oil analysts said Sunday.

“The Norwegian government does have the authority to call workers back for a cooling-off period, and they could use other means to get workers back on the job. If they don’t use that power, it will seem a tipoff that they are using the strike as a pretext to cooperate with OPEC,” said William Randall of First Boston Corp.

Other oil analysts said that the impact of Norway’s strike could be magnified if other North Sea producers were to push forward the maintenance programs on their sectors of the North Sea.

Peter Beutel, analyst with Rudolf Wolff Futures, says the strike will raise futures by 75 cents to $1.

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