Norway’s oil and gas workers are at risk of striking, with some crude output at stake

At least 647 Norwegian oil workers will strike starting June 12, if state-brokered wage mediation is unsuccessful, labour unions announced Friday. This could lead to some crude output being shut down, although gas production may not be affected.

Workers want above-inflation pay raises and other changes to their contracts, but they have not provided details.

The unions announced that members of the Industri-Energi and Lederne unions will strike at 10 permanent offshore facilities, including the Njord A and Valhall platforms. They also plan to strike at three mobile service units and several Oseberg platforms.

The union stated that Lederne would involve 74 senior workers offshore in an initial strike. This would likely affect oil production at Equinor’s Gudrun, Oseberg South, and Oseberg East platforms.

According to Audun Ingvartsen, chief of Lederne, gas production should not be affected.

He stated that he would not allow gas production to be affected because he was aware of the European gas supply situation.

“I hope that we can find the best solution for Norway and oil companies and give back to workers. “I hope we can avoid a striking.”

Gudrun produced 45.700 barrels of oil equivalent per daily (boed), in 2021. Oseberg East produced 5,600 boed and Oseberg South 32,000, according to official data. This is approximately two percent of Norway’s total daily oil and gas production.

Industri Energi union meanwhile stated that it would initially try to avoid production being halted altogether. However, 573 of its members could strike.

Lill-Heidi Bakkerud, the chief negotiator at Industri Energi, stated that the first instance of a possible strike would only affect a small number of members. However, we can escalate if necessary.

Industri Energi Norway’s largest oil and gas union negotiates on behalf of around 4,300 members.

The response of the Safe labour union, which will also participate in the mediation on June 10-11, is still not clear.

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