News, Oil & Gas

Production stoppage spreads

Three more Norwegian fields have been forced to shut down as a result of the offshore strike. "Its impact will be significantly greater than the unions expected," says Jan Hodneland, chief negotiator for the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF).

The Huldra, Brage, Veslefrikk A and B, and Oseberg C platforms are tied back to the Oseberg field centre in the North Sea, which has been hit by the strike.

Members of Industry Energy, the Norwegian Union of Energy Workers (Safe) and the Norwegian Organisation of Managers and Executives working there have downed tools in the dispute.

“Since personnel at the field centre are on strike, transport of oil and gas from the surrounding platforms must also cease,” says Mr Hodneland, who is the OLF’s director of employee policy.

“This means that the stoppage is costing the companies and society an additional NOK 30 million per day, bringing the overall daily loss to NOK 180 million.”

Each of the 708 workers who have been taken out on strike is accordingly costing the companies and society just over NOK 254 000 per day.

The new shutdowns mean the loss of 52 000 barrels of oil and 2 804 000 standard cubic metres of gas in daily production, worth some NOK 30 million.

That increases the impact of the strike significantly beyond the level communicated publicly by the unions concerned.

“They know that they’re not going to secure acceptance of their demand for extraordinary discretionary pensions,” Mr Hodneland observes.

“Given that, it’s unacceptable that they’re imposing costs of close to NOK 200 million per day on the companies and Norwegian society.”

The offshore workers, who are already pension winners, have downed tools because the OLF cannot accept the inclusion of discretionary pensions in a pay agreement.

“Pension terms for all employees in Norway have been changed through the reform recently approved by the Storting (parliament),” notes Mr Hodneland.

“Everyone will have to remain at work longer. The offshore workers are placing themselves apart from the rest of society by demanding extraordinarily good pension terms from the age of 62.”

Further information from:
Eli Ane Nedreskår, communications manager, working life, OLF, mobile: +47 99 45 01 01

Kjetil Hjertvik, communications manager, HSE and operations, OLF, mobile: +47 92 23 70 69