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Norway oil strike ends after wage agreement

10/09/2020 | 01:50pm EST
FILE PHOTO: A general view of Equinor's Johan Sverdrup oilfield platforms in the North Sea

OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian oil firms struck a wage bargain with labour union officials on Friday, ending a strike that had threatened to cut the country's oil and gas output by close to 25% next week, negotiators for each side told Reuters.

Brent oil prices fell by more than 1% on the news to $42.74.

Six offshore fields shut on Monday and a further seven had been scheduled to follow in the coming days, with the oil and gas outage set to grow to 966,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boed) by Oct. 14, the industry had said. [L8N2GZ15Q]

"We have a deal, there will be no (more) strike (action)," negotiator Jan Hodneland of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (NOG) said after the talks ended.

The Lederne trade union confirmed the news.

"The strike is over," union chief Audun Ingvartsen said.

Oil firms and union officials met on Friday with a state-appointed mediator to try to end the 10-day strike in western Europe's biggest oil and gas producing nation.

Friday's meeting was the first with the state mediator since the strike was announced on Sept. 30, although informal talks had been taking place.

Crucially, the union said its new bargain for offshore workers included provisions for land-based workers at the onshore control rooms of Aker BP and Equinor, a key demand in Lederne's strike.

The settlement also included a commitment from oil firms to sign a broader, long-term agreement later, the union said.

Wages will also increase, according to Lederne, although this was in line with what other workers in the industry had obtained, the union said.

The NOG was not immediately comment on the agreement.

The strike's first production outage began on Oct. 5, amounting to 330,000 boed, with an additional shutdowns due this weekend at six fields operated by Equinor, ConocoPhillips and Wintershall Dea.

Equinor's Johan Sverdrup oilfield, the North Sea's largest with an output capacity of up to 470,000 barrels per day, had been scheduled to close on Oct. 14 as a result of the strike.

Norwegian oil workers are among the highest paid in Europe but earn less than those in Australia or North America, a review of the latest available data shows.

(Additional reporting by Nora Buli, writing by Gwladys Fouche and Terje Solsvik; editing by Susan Fenton and Kirsten Donovan)

By Nerijus Adomaitis

© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AKER ASA 0.90% 505.5 Delayed Quote.-7.82%
AKER BP ASA -0.88% 203.2 Delayed Quote.-28.85%
AKER SOLUTIONS -1.29% 14.62 Delayed Quote.-40.33%
CONOCOPHILLIPS -1.94% 41.91 Delayed Quote.-34.22%
EQUINOR ASA -2.66% 143.2 Delayed Quote.-16.32%
IDEMITSU KOSAN CO.,LTD. -0.09% 2245 End-of-day quote.-25.91%
LONDON BRENT OIL 0.17% 47.72 Delayed Quote.-27.73%
LUNDIN ENERGY AB -1.72% 211.6 Delayed Quote.-32.45%
OKEA ASA -3.27% 9.46 Delayed Quote.-44.11%
OMV AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT -2.24% 29.72 End-of-day quote.-40.65%
REPSOL S.A. -1.30% 8.4 Delayed Quote.-39.08%
TOTAL SE -1.59% 37.1 Real-time Quote.-23.37%
WTI 0.29% 45.29 Delayed Quote.-26.73%
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