Fin24

Oil price see-saws in Asian trade

2011-01-12 10:03

Singapore - Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade on Wednesday with the shutting down of two North Sea oil fields compounding supply cuts from the closure of an Alaskan pipeline, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for February delivery, rose 21 cents to $91.32 a barrel in the afternoon.

Brent North Sea crude for February dipped 2c to $97.59.

The closure of Norwegian oil producer Statoil's Snorre and Vigdis fields in the North Sea due to a gas leak was holding crude prices up, said Ong Yi Ling, investment analyst for Phillip Futures in Singapore.

"The shutdown of two North Sea oil fields... incites supply concerns for the market already on edge due to the Alaska pipeline closure," she said.

Snorre produced an estimated 116 000 barrels of oil per day in 2010, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on its website. Vigdis pumped 41 000 barrels of oil per day last year.

The oil field closures dealt a second blow to crude supply in as many weeks following the shutdown of the Trans Alaska Pipeline on January 8.

The suspension of the 1 300km pipeline's operations - responsible for delivering 12% of US production - entered its fifth day with no official word on when it would reopen.