Oil prices have fallen from new record levels as Norway moved to defuse the latest supply scare. he Norwegian government has said it will intervene to end a four-month-long oil rig workers strike after the employers decided to impose a lock-out that would have halted the country’s energy production.
Marianne Lie, who heads the employers’ association, said: “We threatened the lock-out because so many people are being hurt by the strike, members of the public, members of our association and of course their employees.” Oil traders had reacted to the prospect of a lock-out by pushing up prices as Norway is the world’s third largest exporter and a shut-down would have taken three and a third million barrels a day off the world markets. Prices went as high as $55.67 a barrel in the US and to $51.90 for Brent crude. The union said the employers’ threatened lock-out was a ploy to ensure the government imposed forced mediation citing national interests. Oil revenues account for about 20% of Norway’s gross domestic product and 44% of its exports.