Mediation Underway to Avert Possible Strike That Could Affect Norwegian Offshore Fields


February 15, 2021
Johan Sverdrup - Credit: Equinor

Johan Sverdrup - Credit: Equinor

Mediation is starting Monday on the wage deal between the oil workers' union SAFE and the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association in a bid to avert a potential strike that could shut down production from several offshore oil fields in Norway.

"This can potentially lead to a strike which could affect activity at the terminal at Mongstad. The tariff agreement in scope for mediation is the Oil Agreement - Oljeoverenskomsten 224. The agreement is between YS/Safe, Negotia, and Norwegian Oil and Gas Association/Norsk Industri," Equinor said Sunday evening.

In the event of this mediation not being successful, SAFE has announced that 12 of their members at the Mongstad terminal could be on strike from midnight February 15. 

The effect of a potential strike could reduce crude storage and harbor capacity at the terminal at Equinor Mongstad refinery, which could affect the production at several Equinor operated fields on the NCS, including Johan Sverdrup and Troll and it could be necessary to shut down production there until further notice, Equinor said. 

A possible strike could also impact gas exports from the Troll area, and could also impact the Kvitebjørn, Visund, Byrding, Fram and Valemon fields, the company added.

SAFE said that the background for the potential strike is that SAFE has not succeeded in reaching an agreement with Equinor ASA in the local negotiations for the wage settlement 2020. 

"At a time when Equinor has wasted hundreds of billions of [Norwegian crowns] in foreign investment, the company has shown little willingness to value the employees in Norway that create the company's financial results," SAFE said in a statement.

In a statement on Friday evening, Lundin Energy, which owns a share in the giant Johan Sverdrup field, said it hoped that the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association and SAFE would reach a settlement and avert a temporary shutdown of Johan Sverdrup.

"None of Lundin Energy’s other producing fields would be impacted by the potential SAFE strike action," Lundin Energy said.

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