Crude prices were steady on Monday retreating from a new record high near $120 a barrel in overnight trading, as concerns on supply disruptions appeared after a major pipeline in the U.K. was closed and an oil terminal was attacked in Nigeria.
The BP Plc's Forties pipeline system was closed on Sunday after workers at a refinery in Scotland entered a two-day labor strike yesterday. The pipeline is located in the North Sea and supplies 40 percent of the oil produced in the U.K. and 25 percent of its gas.
Crude futures for June delivery rose 1 cent or 0.01 percent to $118.53 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange by 12:24 p.m. Prices rose to $119.93 a barrel in overnight electronic trading surpassing the previous record high of $119.90 last week.
Prices have jumped more than 80 percent compared to the past year according to Bloomberg statistics. Investors have bought contracts of crude to compensate for inflation on a falling dollar that has hit record lows versus the euro.
Increasing supply worries, in Nigeria gunmen attacked the country's largest oil and gas, killing five police officers yesterday. Last Thursday a rebel group attacked a Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
On the same day workers at Exxon's Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited went on strike.
The attacks on Shell's pipelines had reduced flows of crude by 140,000 barrels a day - Nigeria's oil Minister H. Odein Ajumogobia said- and the Exxon Mobil strike is cutting about 765,000 barrels a day, according to union projections.
Brent crude futures rose to 26 cents or 0.22 percent to $116.53 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.