Strike ends in Norway's oil and gas fields

Norway restarted some key oil and gas fields yesterday, after the government intervened and ordered an end to a strike by offshore workers, who are still unhappy about pensions and retirement issues but are now unable to repeat the action legally for at least two more years.

The strike choked off some 13 per cent of Norway's oil production and pushed oil above $100 per barrel on fears of a full loss of supply from the world's eighth-largest exporter.

The move, which sees the state take over negotiations and forcibly settle the dispute, helped ease supply fears, with Brent crude falling back to $99.03 a barrel.

The employers threatened a shutdown of the entire Norwegian continental shelf, putting pressure on the government to intervene.

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