Norwegian oil production to resume after government intervenes on strike

Statoil reported it is preparing to resume production of 3.8 million boe/d of liquids and natural gas on the Norwegian continental shelf from installations affected by an oil-field worker strike after the Norwegian government stepped in at the 11th hour to impose compulsory arbitration in an offshore pay settlement.

Norwegian Minister of Labor Hanne Bjurstrom informed the parties in the pay settlement that the government will propose to Parliament that the conflict be resolved by compulsory arbitration. At the minister’s request, the parties are to resume work as soon as possible.

On July 5, the Norwegian Oil Industry Association announced an impending lockout for all members of Industry Energy, the Organization of Energy Personnel, and Norwegian Organization of Managers and Executives affected by the offshore agreement (OGJ Online, July 5, 2012). A strike that begun on June 24 by members of those unions had already halted production at some fields offshore Norway (OGJ Online, June 27, 2012).

The lockout was due to come into force on July 9 at midnight but instead, the parties will meet in the national wage arbitration tribunal that will make a binding decision in the ongoing labor dispute.

Statoil installations that have been affected by the labor dispute include the Oseberg field center, Oseberg South, Oseberg East, Oseberg C, Heidrun, Huldra, Veslefrikk, and Brage. Production from these installations will be resumed as quickly as possible. It may take 1-2 days to get production started, says Statoil, although it expects to have the fields back in full production within a week.

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