Norwegian oil firms agree wage deal with labour union

Oil firms in Norway came to a wage agreement with labour union Lederne on Friday October 9th, bringing to an end a 10-day strike that had threatened to cut the country’s oil and gas output by approaching 25%, reported Reuters citing negotiators from both sides.

Six offshore fields had shut on Monday and a further seven had been scheduled to close over the next few days.

“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.

A state-appointed mediator had joined the talks on Friday to try to end the strike.

Under the wage deal for offshore workers, Aker BP and Equinor both agreed to include provisions for land-based staff at their onshore control rooms, the NOG said. This had been a key demand of Lederne.

The settlement also included a commitment from oil firms to sign a broader, long-term agreement by April 1st 2021, the NOG added.

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 strike’s first production outage began on October 5th 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 October 14th if the strike continued as a result of the strike.