Statoil ASA (STL), Norway’s largest energy company, closed little changed in Oslo after rising earlier on speculation the government could intervene in a two-week strike that threatens to halt all offshore oil and gas production.
Statoil closed down 0.2 percent at 140.80 kroner. It earlier rose as much as 1.1 percent. Oslo’s benchmark index dropped 0.5 percent.
Oil companies in Norway, western Europe’s largest crude exporter, have said a shutdown will start at midnight unless unions and employers can resolve the dispute over pensions or the state steps in. The threat is intended to force the government to end the impasse via compulsory arbitration, as happened in 1997, 2000 and 2004, said Teodor Sveen Nilsen, an analyst at Swedbank AB. (SWEDA)
“With the two sides far apart, achieving a negotiated consensus looks difficult and a fast resolution only looks possible with an imposed settlement,” Trevor Sikorski, a London-based analyst at Barclays Plc, wrote in an e-mailed report.
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