Norwegian oil and gas workers go on strike and cut production

OSLO, July 5 (Reuters) – Norwegian offshore workers started a strike on Tuesday that will cut oil and gas production, the union leading the industrial action told Reuters.

The strike, with workers demanding wage increases to offset rising inflation, comes amid soaring oil and gas prices, with natural gas supplies to Europe particularly tight following Russian export cuts.

“The strike has started,” said Audun Ingvartsen, leader of the Lederne union, in an interview.

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The operator Equinor (EQNR.OL) has initiated the closure of three fields in the North Sea as a result of a strike, the company announced on Tuesday. Continue reading

The Norwegian Ministry of Labor reiterated that it is following the conflict “closely”. It can intervene to end a strike in exceptional circumstances.

On Tuesday, oil and gas production will be cut by 89,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), of which gas production accounts for 27,500 boepd, Equinor reiterated Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the strike will deepen the cut in the country’s gas production to a total of 292,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, or 13% of production, NOG said on Sunday, in line with Equinor’s estimate. Continue reading

Oil production from Wednesday will be cut by 130,000 barrels per day, Equinor said, in line with the lobby’s earlier estimate.

According to a Reuters calculation, this corresponds to around 6.5% of Norwegian production.

A further planned escalation by Saturday could mean that almost a quarter of Norway’s gas production and around 15% of oil production are shut down, according to a calculation by Reuters.

“The consequences of this escalation are not yet clear,” Equinor said.

It is ultimately the decision of the operator – Equinor – to close the issue.


Industrial action began at midnight local time (2200 GMT) in three fields – Gudrun, Oseberg South and Oseberg East – and will expand to three more fields – Kristin, Heidrun and Aasta Hansteen – from midnight on Wednesday.

A seventh field, Tyrihans, is also forced to close on Wednesday as its output is processed by Kristin.

By July 9, Sleipner, Gullfaks A, and Gullfaks C would likely cease production as Lederne members are seen as critical to operations, with potential impacts on other fields pumping their product through those fields.

If that were the case, it could reduce production of crude oil and other oil liquids by another 160,000 boepd and natural gas production by nearly 230,000 boepd, according to a Reuters calculation.

Members of the Lederne union voted Thursday against a draft wage agreement negotiated by companies and union leaders. Continue reading

Norway’s other oil and gas unions have accepted the collective agreement and will not go on strike.

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Additional reporting by Victoria Klesty, editing by Kim Coghill and Jason Neely

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