Photo: Illustration; Source: Schlumberger

Schlumberger workers in Norway to strike over pay and working conditions

Some 262 oil service workers at Schlumberger’s Norwegian entity plan to go on strike from 3 December if negotiations with employers over pay and working conditions fail.

According to the Norwegian trade union Safe, the negotiations cover drillers, well service crews, divers, and other workers at oil industry subcontractors Baker Hughes, Vetco Gray, Weatherford, Oceaneering, Schlumberger, and Subsea 7.

Reuters said in an article that if a strike breaks out on 3 December, it could escalate in the following weeks to encompass workers at the other firms.

A Schlumberger strike in Norway – or all other listed firms – would not affect ongoing production of oil and gas but would disrupt other functions such as the drilling of new wells.

Among the fields that would see an impact were Gullfaks, Statfjord, and Valhall as well as several mobile offshore drilling rigs.

In total, around 700 workers are covered by the collective bargaining agreement between Safe and the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (NOGA).

To remind, a three-week strike among Norwegian oil service workers in 2016 disrupted the drilling of new wells but did not impact production.

The industry’s core production workers, who are directly employed by oil firms and thus not part of the latest talks, settled their wage demands last month following a 10-day strike that cut output and rattled energy markets.

A larger labour union, Industri Energi, said in October it had agreed to a wage deal covering some 6,500 oil service workers and would not go on strike.

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According to Reuters, Safe said that the rights of some of its members have been eroded and it fears this could spread, with the potential consequence that wages in certain cases could be cut by as much as 47 per cent.

Separately on Thursday, the planned escalation of a strike by security guards could close down a quarter of Norway’s gas exports to Europe within the next few days, gas systems operator Gassco said.

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