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Last Updated: Friday, 13 October 2006, 21:05 GMT 22:05 UK
Oil price up on Statoil shutdown
Statoil and Norwegian flags
The two Statoil sites produce about 2.25 million barrels per day
Oil continued to rally on Friday after Norway's Statoil announced the shutdown of two of its largest oilfields.

The Snorre A and Drauden sites, which produce 13% of Norway's oil - about 2.25 million barrels per day - will close to allow safety improvements.

The drop in supply led to US crude settling 71 cents higher at $58.57 a barrel, after reaching an intraday high of $59.46 during intraday trade.

London Brent crude climbed 76 cents to end the day at $59.52.

A surplus of oil stocks, coupled with reduced Middle East tensions, have seen oil fall from more than $78 in mid-July when the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel intensified.

Prices had dipped to $57.22 on Thursday, the lowest level since December 2005. Producer cartel Opec failing to agree on an output cut also kept prices down.

Despite seeming agreement on the principle of a one million barrel per day output cut, a hold-up over thrashing out how and when to cut has held up a formal deal.


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