CBS MarketWatch: Storm halts oil unloading for 2nd day: Worries over U.S. supply with price sitting at all-time high: “Another factor affecting prices was a potential nationwide strike Monday by Nigerian oil workers. That strike was likely to fuel existing worries sparked by a job action by Royal Dutch/Shell workers on Thursday and Friday.” (ShellNews.net)
By Christopher Noble
Posted 10Oct 04
SAN FRANCISCO: Tropical Storm Matthew halted oil tanker unloading at a key port in Louisiana for a second day Saturday but a spokeswoman said operations are expected to resume Sunday.
"Right now we're still not offloading ships," said Barb Hestermann, spokeswoman for the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, known as the LOOP. "It will probably be tomorrow, but as soon as the weather calms well open it."
The price of a barrel of crude oil closed above $53 on Friday, an all-time high, as traders reacted to news that tanker offloading was stopped by Matthew, which stirred up waves and winds in the Gulf of Mexico.See Friday's futures report.
With production already severely crimped by damage from Hurricane Ivan, the inability of the LOOP to unload ships was an added concern.
Hestermann said there were three tankers waiting to unload and that workers at the LOOP were poised to resume operations as soon as weather allowed.
She also said the facility was continuing to ship crude to refineries from its storage tanks on land.
Another factor affecting prices was a potential nationwide strike Monday by Nigerian oil workers. That strike was likely to fuel existing worries sparked by a job action by Royal Dutch/Shell workers on Thursday and Friday.
Royal Dutch said the strike did not affect production or exports from its operation in Nigeria, Africa's largest producer and the world's seventh largest oil exporter.
On Saturday, the Associated Press reported that Adams Oshiomhole, president of the Nigeria Labor Congress, was briefly detained and then released in what it said appeared to be an effort to stop Monday's strike.
Both white and blue collar oil industry unions have said they will take part in the strike, the AP reported. It quoted a Nigerian union official as saying the strike would go ahead despite the detention of Oshiomhole.
Christopher Noble is a reporter for CBS MarketWatch in San Francisco.