Equinor AS has started run-up of production at Gudrun, Oseberg South, and Oseberg East fields on the Norwegian continental shelf. A strike by members of the Norwegian Organization of Managers and Executives (Lederne) that had begun earlier in the week and forced the operator to begin shutdown operations, has been called off (OGJ Online, Jul. 5, 2022).
Last night, the government proposed compulsory arbitration to resolve the labor dispute between the workers' organization Lederne and Norwegian Oil and Gas (Norog) in connection with this year's basic collective bargaining agreement.
Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion Marte Mjøs Persen intervened in the conflict and said it would be "indefensible to cease gas production in the scope entailed by this strike over the next few days." In a prepared statement July 5, the Minister noted the critical nature of the dramatic production drop "in a situation where the EU and the UK are entirely dependent on their energy partnership with Norway."
The Minister emphasized Russia’s war against Ukraine and its major impact on supply security in many European countries and the immediate risk of additional energy shortages in Europe. "A reduction in Norwegian gas deliveries will worsen the energy crisis, in addition to the inherent political, financial, and societal consequences," she said.
While the parties themselves are "generally responsible for finding a solution in such instances," the Minister said there was no choice other than to intervene when the conflict could result in such far-reaching societal impacts for all of Europe.
Work has begun to safely restart production on the strike-affected infrastructure and all fields are expected to be back in full operation within a couple of days, Equinor said.