Oil prices slip over 1% after Norway oil worker strike ends
By Scott DiSavino
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell more than 1% on Friday after an oil workers' strike in Norway ended, which should boost crude oil production even if the hurricane delta forced US energy companies to cut production.
Brent futures <LCOc1> fell 49 cents, or 1.1%, to $ 42.85 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil <CLc1> fell 59 cents, or 1.4%, to $ 40.60 fell.
Despite Friday's price drop, both benchmarks rose 9% this week, their first rise in three weeks and the largest weekly rise for Brent since June.
Oil futures rose earlier in the week on concerns that the strike in Norway and the US Gulf Coast hurricane would slow crude oil production.
Norwegian oil companies signed a collective agreement with union officials on Friday, ending a ten-day strike that threatened to cut the country's oil and gas production by nearly 25% next week.
"One of the bullish factors that had supported prices fell apart late in the day when it was announced that Norway was about to end its strike," said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
The doubts expressed by the Republicans in the US Senate that a coronavirus economic agreement could be reached before the elections on November 3 also weighed on prices.
Earlier in the day, oil prices turned positive for a moment after US House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi announced she would resume talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a possible $ 1.8 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package.
Hurricane Delta dealt the biggest blow to U.S. offshore power generation in the Gulf of Mexico in 15 years, halting most of the oil in the region and nearly two-thirds of natural gas production.
Looking ahead, JP Morgan said a deterioration in global oil demand due to a possible spike in coronavirus cases this winter would likely prompt the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to undertake a planned easing of oil cuts with Saudi Arabia in 2021 Undo offers deeper cuts below its current quota.
(Additional reporting by Shadia Nasralla in London and Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; editing by Marguerita Choy, Louise Heavens and Sonya Hepinstall)
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