BP closed the Forties Pipeline System, carrying 40 percent of the U.K.'s oil output, after a strike at the Grangemouth refinery cut power supplies. Five police were killed in yesterday's attack in the Niger Delta where output has been cut 50 percent by strikes and attacks on pipelines, adding to concern supplies may be insufficient before gasoline demand peaks during the Northern Hemisphere summer driving season.
Crude oil for June delivery rose as much as $1.41, or 1.2 percent, to $119.93 a barrel in after-hours electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest since the futures began trading in 1983. It was at $119.41 at 11:05 a.m. in Singapore. Prices have surged 82 percent in the past year.
The contract jumped 2.1 percent to $118.52 a barrel April 25 when the refinery strike and pipeline closure were announced.
Brent crude for June settlement rose as much as $1, or 0.9 percent, to $117.34 a barrel London's ICE Futures Europe exchange and was trading at $117.30 a barrel at 10:43 a.m. in Singapore. It reached a record $117.56 on April 25.
Refinery production will resume on April 29 at 7 a.m. local time. Units crucial to restart flows on the Forties pipeline will have priority, Richard Longden, spokesman for operator Ineos Group Holdings Plc, said yesterday.
Oil grades from the North Sea and Nigeria, Africa's biggest producer, are low in sulfur and favored by refiners. Nigeria is losing about 50 percent of its output after staff at Exxon Mobil Corp.'s operations went on strike April 24 and militants attacked a Royal Dutch Shell Plc pipeline later the same day.