No More Strike for Offshore Oil and Gas Workers in Norway

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Updated Published

A union leader and the labor ministry said that the Norwegian government stepped in to end the strike in the petroleum sector that interrupted the oil and gas output.

The strike of offshore oil and gas workers was over pay on Tuesday, the starting date of planned industrial action threatened to stop Norway’s gas exports and worsen supply shortages linked to the war in Ukraine.

“Workers are going back to work as soon as possible. We are canceling the planned escalation,” Lederne union leader Audun Ingvartsen told Reuters. Asked whether the strike was over, he said: “Yes.”

It was confirmed separately by the labor ministry its rights to step in.

"The announced escalation is critical in today's situation, both with regards to the energy crisis and the geopolitical situation we are in with a war in Europe. It is unjustifiable to allow gas production to stop to such an extent that this strike in the next few days is estimated to lead to,” Labour Minister Marte Mjos Persen said.

This is the second time in weeks that Persen has stepped in and ended a labor dispute. In June, an aircraft technician strike in Norway grounded hundreds of flights and Persen pointed out the hazard to healthcare patients who need air transport, ordering a return to work.

The strike would cut daily gas exports by 1,117,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe), or 56% of daily gas exports, while 341,000 of barrels of oil would have been lost by Saturday, according to the Norwegian Oil and Gas (NOG) employers’ lobby.

Norway’s oil and gas is in demand as it is seen as a dependable supplier. Second to Russia, Norway is also a large supplier of energy in Europe. The demand is soaring, particularly Nord Stream 1 in Russia is shutting down for maintenance for two days in July.