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Workers at Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras have begun a five-day strike, raising fears of further pressure on world oil prices.
The firm is playing down the potential impact of the dispute, which is over offshore working conditions.
The management say there is a contingency plan to maintain output.
But a union spokesman said while management would do everything they could to maintain production workers would do their best to disrupt it.
The strike by employees at the 42 oilfields in the Campos basin off the coast of the state of Sao Paulo is going ahead after talks last week ended without agreement.