Singapore: World oil prices rose in Asian trade on Monday after fresh unrest in Africa’s biggest crude producer, Nigeria.
New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for June delivery, was 15 cents higher at $116.47 per barrel.
The benchmark contract rallied $3.80 to close at 116.32 on Friday at the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent North Sea crude for June was 15 cents higher at 114.71. The contract jumped $4.06 to settle at 114.56 on Friday in London.
Nigerian militants attacked an oil ship off the coast of the west African country and took two people hostage, a military spokesman said Sunday. The incident came after Niger Delta militants attacked facilities belonging to Anglo-Dutch oil group Shell in southern Nigeria, leading to a cut in output, company and security sources said.
Shell, which accounts for around half of Nigeria’s 2.1 million barrels per day output, has been forced to cut production because of an upsurge in militant attacks on its facilities.
Oil rallied close to a record $120 a barrel last week on supply concerns linked to work-stoppages at a Scottish refinery and in Nigeria.
With the strikes resolved, crude prices were largely driven by movement in the US dollar, according to analysts. News that the U.S. economy shed 20,000 jobs in April, far fewer than the 75,000 expected by the market, helped lift sentiment on Friday.
The unemployment rate unexpectedly slipped a tenth of a percentage point to 5%, the U.S. Labor Department said, compared with an expected rise to 5.2%.
Analysts said the better-than-expected labour report showed the world’s biggest energy consumer was hurting but not in crisis.