Photo: Equinor

Equinor forced to shut down four fields due to strike

Norwegian oil and gas giant Equinor has been forced to shut down four of its fields in the North Sea following an escalation in strike action by offshore oil and gas workers.

Members of the Lederne union went on strike last Wednesday following a breach of mediation in the negotiations between the employer organisation Norwegian Oil and Gas Association and the trade union Lederne.

At first, the strike affected only Equinor’s Johan Sverdrup field but the union later said it would step up strike action from 4 October by taking out 18 members on each of three Equinoir’s fields – Gudrun, Gina Krog, and Kvitebjørn – and 72 members on Neptune Energy’s Gjøa platform.

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In an update on Monday, Equinor said that the trade union Lederne has stepped up its strike on the Norwegian continental shelf from Sunday midnight.

Equinor said that, as a result of the escalation, it has conducted a controlled closure of the Gudrun, Gina Krog, Kvitebjørn, and Valemon fields.

A total of 54 members of the trade union Lederne will be on strike at Gudrun, Gina Krog, and Kvitebjørn. The Valemon field must be shut down because it is linked to Kvitebjørn, Equinor explained.

Production at the Johan Sverdrup platform continues for the present where 43 members of Lederne have been on strike since Wednesday morning.

As previously reported, Neptune’s Gjøa field will also have to shut down as a result of the walkout. The same applies to its Vega satellite, which is operated by Wintershall Dea Norge.

According to the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, these fields collectively produce 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed).

Total oil and gas output from the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) is about four million boed. The risk, therefore, exists that about eight per cent of total petroleum production from the NCS could be lost through extending the strike.