Even as Hurricane Delta bears down on the Gulf Coast, oil prices fell today on news that oil workers in Norway had settled a strike that had shut down about 8% of the country’s production. The settlement will restore production at six fields already shut down by the strike and prevent an escalation to an additional six oil fields. And it averts the possible shutdown of Norway’s largest oil field, the 460,000 barrel-a-day Johan Sverdrup field.
This week oil prices advanced, with international benchmark Brent showing its biggest weekly gain since June and with U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate breaking above $40 a barrel on supply disruptions in Norway and from Hurricane Delta, and on optimism that a coronavirus stimulus deal would pump more growth into a stalling U.S. economy.
Today, however, the news from Norway led West Texas Intermediate to decline by 1.60% to $40.53 a barrel. Brent fell 1.27% to $42.79.
Hurricane Delta caused oil producers to shut in 92% of capacity in the Gulf of Mexico. The storm is forecast to come ashore today as a Class 2 hurricane.
Shares of Equinor (EQNR), Norway’s state-controlled oil company, closed up 1.16% today.