The oil price is rising again Friday and looks likely to end the week little changed from where it began, despite earlier price falls. Renewed support has come in the form of higher Chinese oil imports data and the threat of a strike by one of Nigeria’s main oil worker unions.
By 1350 BST, the oil price was firmly in the green. Brent crude oil was trading 1.53% higher at $63.15 per barrel. US WTI oil was up 1.61% at $57.60 per barrel.
China oil imports on the up
Chinese crude oil imports rose sharply in November, rebounding from a fall in October. Data showed China’s crude oil imports hit 37.04 million tonnes, or 9.01 million barrels per day in November. That’s the second highest on record and up from 7.3 million barrels per day during October.
The rise in imports comes amid suggestions China’s commercial crude oil stockpiles were at the lowest in over seven years. The figures also showed that year-to-date crude oil imports were up 12%.
A recovery in demand for crude oil from the world’s largest economy is good news for oil producers. And, if it continues, should work to further support the oil price.
Nigeria oil union threatens country-wide strike action
Also putting upward pressure on the price of oil, is news from Nigeria that one of it’s biggest oil worker unions is threatening strike action across the country.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), has made the threat after “mass sackings” of its members.
PENGASSAN has requested the Government tell the companies involved to rehire the staff who have lost their jobs.
Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s oil minister has said the government would begin talks with the PENGASSAN union, to bring an end to the problem, “as soon as possible.”
PENGASSAN’s strike threat is likely being taken seriously, as the union has successfully instigated previous strike action this year.