NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices slipped more than 1% on Friday after an oil worker strike in Norway ended, which should boost crude output even as Hurricane Delta forced U.S. energy firms to cut production.

Brent futures

fell 49 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $42.85 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude

fell 59 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $40.60.

Despite Friday’s price slide, both benchmarks gained about 9% this week, their first increase in three weeks and the biggest weekly rise for Brent since June.

Oil futures climbed earlier in the week due to concerns the strike in Norway and the hurricane headed for the U.S. Gulf Coast would cut crude output.

Norwegian oil firms struck a wage bargain with labour union officials on Friday, ending a 10-day strike that had threatened to cut the country’s oil and gas output by close to 25% next week.

“One of the bullish factors that had been supporting prices fell apart late in the day when it was announced that Norway would end their strike,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Also weighing on prices were doubts voiced by Republicans in the U.S. Senate that a coronavirus economic stimulus deal could be reached before the Nov. 3 election.

Earlier in the day, oil prices briefly turned positive after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would resume talks on a possible $1.8 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Hurricane Delta, meanwhile, dealt the greatest blow to U.S. offshore Gulf of Mexico energy production in 15 years, halting most of the region’s oil and nearly two-thirds of natural gas output.

Looking ahead, JP Morgan said that a worsening global oil demand outlook due to a potential rise in coronavirus cases

Oil price is on track for the biggest weekly gain since May driven by a Norway strike and Hurricane Delta that has threatened output. Both U.S. crude and Brent are up around 10% this week, marking the first rise in three weeks.

Norway Strike

A strike by oil workers in Norway could cut output from western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer by almost a quarter by Oct 14 (read: Top & Flop ETF Zones of First Nine Months of 2020).

The dispute began on Sep 30 when wage talks between the Lederne union and the organization representing oil companies collapsed. However, the first production outages began on Oct 5. According to the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, six offshore oil and gas fields were shut on Oct 5. This has reduced output capacity by 8% or around 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd). U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips (COP) planned shutdown of its Ekofisk 2/4 B platform, with output of 7,000 billion boepd, on Oct 10 if the strike continues. Six more oil and gas fields could fully or partly close by Oct 14, including the Ekofisk platform.

The biggest outage would be at Equinor’s Johan Sverdrup oilfield, the North Sea’s largest oilfield with an output capacity of up to 470,000 barrels of oil per day. Overall, 941,000 boepd are expected to go offline so far. The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association expects the extended strike to cut 25% of production.

Hurricane Delta

The hurricane Delta has forced to shut down nearly 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil output in Gulf of Mexico. It has halted nearly 90% of the Gulf of Mexico’s crude output.

Saudi Arabia View

Per The Wall Street Journal, Saudi Arabia is considering the cancellation of plans for the Organization of the

OSLO (Reuters) – Norwegian oil workers could end their 10-day strike later on Friday if a set of new proposals from the oil industry proves satisfactory, the head of the Lederne trade union told Reuters.

Oil firms and union officials were meeting on Friday with a state-appointed mediator to try to end the strike, which threatens to cut output from western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer by some 25%.

The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (NOG), which is leading negotiations on behalf of companies, was not immediately available for comment.

Six offshore fields shut on Monday and a further seven are scheduled to halt operations in the coming days. The oil and gas outage is set to grow to 966,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) by Oct. 14, according to the NOG.

“We are getting a new proposal from the NOG, and I hope that we can have a deal today,” Lederne leader Audun Ingvartsen told Reuters.

He did not disclose the contents of the proposal, which he said would take some time to review.

Lederne wants to match the pay and conditions of workers at onshore remote control rooms with offshore workers, as well as higher wage rises this year than proposed by oil companies.

Friday’s meeting is the first with the state mediator since the strike was announced on Sept. 30, although informal talks have been taking place.

The strike has helped support oil prices this week, with benchmark Brent crude

rising sharply. At 1150 GMT, it was trading down, however, at $43.02.

Gas prices, which also rose earlier in the week, also traded lower.

Norwegian oil workers are among the highest paid in Europe but earn less than those in Australia or North America, a review of the latest available data shows.

If the

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s Lederne labour union will expand its ongoing oil strike from Oct. 10 unless a wage bargain can be reached in the meantime, it said on Tuesday, confirming a statement from the country’s state-appointed wage mediator.

Six offshore oil and gas fields shut down on Monday as Lederne ramped up its strike, cutting output capacity by 8%, or around 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed), according to the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (NOG).

The planned Oct. 10 escalation would hit four additional fields operated by Equinor

and ConocoPhillips

but it was too early to say how it would affect oil and gas output, a spokesman for the NOG said.

The dispute began on Sept. 30 when wage talks between Lederne and the NOG collapsed, but the first production outages only started on Oct. 5.

Lederne earlier on Tuesday sent a proposal for a solution to the NOG, but its terms were not met, it later said.

“We received a reply from the NOG to our proposal, but it was not specific enough, and we have decided to escalate the strike,” Lederne union chief Audun Ingvartsen told Reuters.

“I hope that the escalation could still be avoided if the NOG comes back with a better proposal,” he added.

An escalation of the strike would add 93 more workers to the 169 who are already part of the conflict, out of a total 1,003 offshore members represented by Lederne.

Equinor’s Oseberg South, Oseberg East and Kristin fields, as well as the ConocoPhillips-run Ekofisk Bravo/Kilo installation would be added to the strike, the NOG said.

The conflict gave a boost to global oil prices for a second straight day on Tuesday.

Gas supplies from Norway to the rest of Europe were recovering some lost ground on Tuesday,

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices rose more than 2% on Monday, lifted by comments from doctors for U.S. President Donald Trump suggesting he could be discharged from hospital as soon as Monday, just a few days after his positive coronavirus test sparked widespread alarm.

FILE PHOTO: The sun is seen behind a crude oil pump jack in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, U.S., November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Angus Mordant/File Photo

Trump’s health update eased political uncertainty in global markets, pushing Brent up to $40.10 a barrel by 0613 GMT, gaining 83 cents or 2.1%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $37.94 a barrel, up 89 cents, or 2.4%.

Oil was also supported by an escalating workers’ strike in Norway that has shut four of Equinor’s oil and gas fields. The strike could reduce the country’s production capacity by as much as 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) or 8% of its total output, according to the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association.

Prices had slumped more than 4% on Friday amid uncertainty surrounding Trump’s health, adding to concerns about rising coronavirus case numbers that could dampen a global economic recovery.

Analysts said Monday’s rebound was driven by an easing of the worst fears about Trump’s health, despite some mixed signals about his condition.

“I think it’s the improving health of the U.S. President … over the weekend there were a lot of conflicting reports on his health, but generally he’s improving,” said Avtar Sandu, senior commodities manager at Phillip Futures.

“He could be back to work soon,” Sandu said, adding that investors were worried about the stalled U.S. fiscal stimulus plan which could aid oil demand recovery.

Signs of improvement in Trump’s health offset indications of rising oil supply in the market.

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