An escalation of a strike, in which 74 oil and gas workers are currently participating in, could end up halving oil and gas exports if the strike is escalated on Saturday.
“Almost 60 per cent of gas exports from the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) will be affected when the strike action is stepped up further from Saturday,” the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association said in a statement, adding it would mean a production loss of 341,000 barrels of oil.
The Norwegian Organisation of Managers and Executives (Lederne) has 74 members out on strike, which has shut down the Gudrun, Oseberg Sør and Oseberg Øst oil fields. More oil fields could close on Wednesday when 117 more workers at three other oil fields could go on strike.
More oil field closures on Wednesday would account to a 13 percent cut of oil and gas exports. This is equates to around 292,000 barrels of oil equivalents being lost.
“Norway is known as a reliable and stable supplier of natural gas to Europe in a time of unrest and uncertainty. The consequence of this strike is very serious, especially for the UK, which gets a lot of its gas from Aasta Hansteen,” Kolbjørn Andreassen, communications manager for working life and operational conditions in the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association said to newswire NTB.
Lederne said that it hadn’t received a solid offer from employer organisations in the hopes of avoiding a strike escalation.
The strike comes at a time when energy prices have already soared as a result of the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and associated sanctions.
“Norwegian deliveries account for a quarter of European energy supplies, and Europe is entirely dependent on Norway delivering as a nation at a time when Russian supply cuts have created a very tight market for natural gas,” the association said.
“A strike on this scale poses huge problems for countries which are wholly dependent on filling up their gas stores ahead of the autumn and winter,” it added.
Workers walked out after members of the Lederne union voted no to a proposal brought by mediators during wage negotiations.
Earlier on Tuesday, Norwegian energy giant Equinor said it had shut down production at three oil and gas fields after oil workers walked out following
According to the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, the extension of the strike to all the fields announced by the union would mean that “daily oil production of 341,000 barrels and gas exports of 1,117,000 boe per day are lost,” which corresponds to about 56 percent of total gas exports from the NCS.
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