Nigerian oil workers on strike

Nigerian oil workers have launched an indefinite strike on the weekend that could shut down crude outflows from the world's sixth-largest oil exporter.

The strike over pay and conditions comes as the threat of war in Iraq and a prolonged strike in Venezuela have pushed oil prices to a two-year high. Half of Nigerian exports go to the United States.

The action was launched by the employees of the Department of Petroleum Resources, a government unit overseeing operations of oil multinationals such ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, Royal Dutch/Shell and TotalFinaElf.

The strike is also backed by the country's powerful Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria.

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