Oil prices stayed firm in the final week of July, reflecting concern about developments in the Nigerian oil industry where workers have been on strike for a month in support of a campaign to end military rule.

The price of dated Brent blend was $17.65 a barrel on 27 July compared with $17.40 a barrel the previous day. This is still well down on the levels reached earlier in July when dated Brent hit more than $18 a barrel.

Prices softened following forecasts of higher non-OPEC crude oil production in the final months of 1994. The OPEC secretariat has also revised down its forecast of the likely call on OPEC crude oil to 26.12 million barrels a day (b/d) for the fourth quarter of 1994.