Lockout to shut production offshore Norway

By OGJ editors

A lockout of offshore workers scheduled to begin July 10 will halt production of 3.8 million boe/d of liquids and natural gas on the Norwegian continental shelf.

A strike begun on June 24 by Industry Energy, the Organization of Energy Personnel, and Norwegian Organization of Managers and Executives already had halted production at some fields offshore Norway (OGJ Online, June 27, 2012).

Preliminary Norwegian Petroleum Directorate data for May put production rates at 1.631 million b/d of crude oil, 307,000 b/d of NGL, and 68,000 b/d of condensate. The May liquids total of 2.007 million b/d was about 52,000 b/d below that of the preceding month.

Total gas sales in May were about 8.9 billion standard cu m, down about 500 million cu m from April.

Statoil, which has interests in about 1.2 million boe/d of production offshore Norway, said it planned a controlled shutdown of production and return of workers to land starting July 9. It said a total shutdown would require 1-4 days, “depending on the characteristics and complexity of each field.”

The Norwegian Oil Industry Association, chief negotiator for oil companies and service firms, called conflict with the unions “deadlocked” and said the lockout would start at midnight July 10.

The action will affect 6,515 workers at 70 fields in the North Sea, Norwegian Sea, and Barents Sea. The dispute is over pension rights past age 62.

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