Photo: Johan Sverdrup; Source: Equinor

Strike could shut down production on Equinor’s Johan Sverdrup

Norwegian oil major Equinor has warned that the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea would have to close production until further notice if the ongoing strike on the Norwegian Continental Shelf continues until 14 October.

Members of a union of Norwegian oil and gas workers working on the Johan Sverdrup field went on strike in late September after a fallout in wage negotiations.

Workers union Lederne, which covers the management staff on the Equinor-operated Johan Sverdrup field, was unable to reach an agreement with Norsk olje og gass, an employers’ organisation in Norway.

As the agreement was not reached, the union’s 43 members working at the field went on strike following the wage dispute.

Earlier this month, a notice given by Lederne for extending its offshore walkout will hit production from the Gjøa platform in the North Sea and its Vega satellite. Norsk olje og gass stated that Kvitebjørn, Gina Krog, Gudrun, and Valemon fields will also be affected.

Equinor said on Wednesday that production at Johan Sverdrup has not been affected so far by the strike of 43 Lederne members.

The oil major claimed that this situation would change if the strike continues into the 14 October. This is due to the scheduled rotation of personnel as there would not be sufficient capacity and competence in key operational functions at Johan Sverdrup.

[Equinor hopes] that in the intervening period there may be a settlement between The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association and the union”, the company said.

In an update on Wednesday, Lederne said that Equinor’s Gudrun, Gina Krog, White Bear – with 18 members in each – and 72 members from Neptune Energy’s Gjøa went on strike in addition to Johan Sverdrup.

From 10 October, 67 members from Equinor’s Oseberg Sør, Oseberg Øst, and Kristin fields and 26 members from ConocoPhillips’ Ekofisk Bravo / Kilo will go on strike if no agreement is reached.