Photo: The Gina Krog field. Source: Equinor/Credit: Ole Jørgen Bratland

Offshore workers’ strike to hit production on six Norwegian fields

Strike action by Norwegian offshore oil and gas workers will affect production on six fields in the North Sea offshore Norway.

Notice given by the Lederne union on extending its offshore walkout will hit production from the Gjøa platform in the North Sea and its Vega satellite, according to Norsk olje og gass, an employers’ organisation in Norway.

Kvitebjørn, Gina Krog, Gudrun, and Valemon fields will also be affected.

Lederne broke off mediation efforts on the morning of 30 September, with 43 of its members on Johan Sverdrup consequently downing tools.

Production from this North Sea field is continuing as normal for the present.

As early as the afternoon of the same day, the union announced that it would step up strike action from midnight on 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.

As things look now, Kvitebjørn and its Valemon satellite, as well as Gudrun and Gina Krog, will have to shut down, the employers’ organization said.

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

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.

A financial offer was made to all three unions, Industri Energi, Safe, and Lederne. The first two, representing 85 per cent of the offshore workforce, accepted the offer while Lederne rejected it.

Jan Hodneland, chief negotiator at Norsk olje og gass, said: “The smallest union, Lederne, rejected the offer and opted to strike. It has also demanded that the area covered by the collective pay settlement is expanded – which falls outside the scope of the negotiation over the offshore agreements”.

Under the settlement, offshore workers are set to receive an overall pay rise of NOK 4 700 and an increase of NOK 3.50 per hour in the shift and night-work supplement, to NOK 80 per hour.

The workers are also set to receive a rise in the conference supplement to NOK 100, and an increase in the allowance for working on public holidays from NOK 2 025 to NOK 2 060 per day.

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