The Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF) which represents the oil companies engaged in exploration and production of oil and gas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf announced that the negotiations held during the weekend with the offshore workers’ unions failed to produce any positive results, meaning that the workers’ strike is now on day 16.
“This is a very serious situation,” says Mr Jan Hodneland, chief negotiator OLF.
Industri Energi, SAFE and Lederne representing offshore workers started their strike action over pension disputes on 24 June. According to OLF’s calculations, the strike has resulted in a loss of revenue from production amounting to around NOK 2.9 billion( USD 473 million) so far.
As a reaction to the strike, OLF last week issued a lockout warning, which should take place at 00:00, Tuesday, July 10, closing all oil and gas production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
The representatives from SAFE and Industri Energi have put the blame on the employers.
“The employers must take responsibility for this conflict. The companies must accept the consequences of their own stupidity when they announce a full lockout,” said Leif Sande and Hilde-Marit Rysst, the leaders of SAFE and Industri Energy in a joint statement.
The full lockout will see 6515 workers covered by the offshore pay agreements locked out from their workplaces.
OLF has said that 1000 employees in the supplies industry have so far been laid off as a result of the strike and that Norway’s reputation as a reliable supplier of oil and gas to Europe and the world is under challenge.
“After trying everything in our power to contribute to a solution, we now find ourselves in a position where we as a responsible player must use the only weapon we have to help end the situation, and that’s a lockout,” says Hodneland.
As a result of the strike, Norway’ oil and gas giant Statoil closed production on the Heidrun platform in the Norwegian Sea and the Oseberg Field Centre in the North Sea. The Oseberg C, Huldra, Veslefrikk and Brage installations have also been shut down.
Offshore Energy Today Staff, July 9, 2012