Norway oil strike ends after wage agreement
By Nerijus Adomaitis
OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian oil companies signed a collective agreement with union officials on Friday, ending a strike that threatened to cut the country's oil and gas production by nearly 25% next week, negotiators on each side told Reuters.
Brent oil prices fell more than 1% to $ 42.74 on the news.
Six offshore fields were closed on Monday, and another seven should follow in the coming days. By October 14, the oil and gas failure is expected to rise to 966,000 barrels of oil equivalent (Boed), the industry announced. [L8N2GZ15Q]
"We have a deal, there will be no (further) strike (action)," said negotiator Jan Hodneland of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (NOG) after the talks were over.
The Leather Union confirmed the news.
"The strike is over," said union leader Audun Ingvartsen.
Oil companies and union officials met with a government-appointed broker on Friday to try to end the 10-day strike in Western Europe's largest oil and gas producing nation.
Friday's meeting was the first with the state mediator since the September 30 strike was announced, despite informal talks taking place.
Crucially, the union said its new offshore worker agreement included provisions for farm workers in the onshore control rooms of Aker BP <AKERBP.OL> and Equinor, a key demand in Leather's strike.
The settlement also included pledges from oil companies to later sign a broader long-term agreement, the union said.
Lederne said wages will also rise, although this was in line with what other workers in the industry had received, the union said.
The NOG did not immediately comment on the agreement.
The strike's first loss of production began on October 5th and amounted to 330,000 Boed. This weekend further shutdowns are due in six fields operated by Equinor <EQNR.OL>, ConocoPhillips <COP.N> and Wintershall Dea.
Equinor's Johan Sverdrup oil field, the largest in the North Sea with a production capacity of up to 470,000 barrels per day, was due to close on October 14th due to the strike.
Norwegian oil workers are among the highest paid in Europe, but earn less than in Australia or North America, a review of the latest available data shows.
(Additional reporting by Nora Buli, writing by Gwladys Fouche and Terje Solsvik; editing by Susan Fenton and Kirsten Donovan)
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