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Oil hits record on UK pipeline shutdown

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Crude oil hit a record high of $119.93 a barrel on Monday after BP Plc shut a North Sea pipeline and as fresh violence in Nigeria reignited supply fears.

US light crude for June delivery rose 81 cents to $119.33, after striking a lifetime high of $119.93 a barrel at the start of Globex electronic trade.

A petrol station in Edinburgh shows a no fuel sign during the first day of strike action at the Ineos oil refinery in Grangemouth, central Scotland April 27, 2008. A pipeline carrying nearly half of Britain's oil was closed on Sunday as a strike over pensions began at the neighboring Grangemouth refinery in Scotland, operator BP said.

Hundreds of workers at Scotland's only oil refinery began a 48-hour strike on Sunday, forcing BP to shut a pipeline system that delivers almost a third of Britain's North Sea oil.

BP said it had completed the closure of the Forties Pipeline System when 1,200 workers at the Grangemouth refinery in central Scotland walked off the job over pension issues.

The pipeline brings in 700,000 barrels of oil a day from the North Sea to BP's Kinneil plant, which is powered from the Grangemouth site.

BP said that assuming it got power back as soon as the strike ended and Fortis fields resumed production rapidly, the pipeline could be back in operation within 24 hours but might take a few more days to get back to full flow.

In Nigeria, unidentified gunmen killed five policemen and seized several weapons in a raid on a police station in the oil-rich southern Nigerian state of Rivers on Sunday, a police spokeswoman said.

The attack came just two days after a strike and attacks by rebels forced Nigeria's two largest oil firms Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell to shut some production. (Xinhua)

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