Norway’s strike-affected natural gas fields to restart production
Norwegian producer Statoil is to resume production at installations affected by a labour dispute following news the planned halt to oil and natural gas production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf was averted just minutes before the early Tuesday deadline.
Markets opened to news that Norwegian Minister of Labour Hanne Bjurstrøm declared the conflict over after calling a meeting with the disputing parties just 30 minutes before the lockout was due to begin, according to statements from the Ministry of Labour and the employer's association for oil and supplier companies, the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF).
According to OLF, the minister said compulsory arbitration will be used to define the new pay agreement.
OLF and the three unions Industry Energy (Industri Energi), the Organisation of Energy Personnel (SAFE) and the Norwegian Organisation of Managers and Executives (Lederne) are due to meet at the national wage arbitration tribunal, which will make a binding decision, OLF said.
A ministry spokesman said no date was in place for the arbitration to start, but it was likely to take place after the summer. He added it was unknown how long the arbitration process would take.
Statoil installations affected by the labour dispute are: the Oseberg Field Centre, Oseberg South, Oseberg East, Oseberg C, Heidrun, Huldra, Veslefrikk and Brage. Transmission system operator (TSO) Gassco said it expects the Oseberg field, which has been off line since the start of the strike on 24 June, is due to start up on Friday. The strike reduced gas by 29 million cubic metres/day from the field.
The lockout, which OLF announced on 5 July, was due to start in the first hours of Tuesday 10 July. KA
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