OSLO. – Hundreds of workers on Norwegian offshore oil and gas rigs went on strike yesterday after rejecting a proposed wage deal, leading to the shutdown of one Shell-operated field and helping send Brent crude prices higher.
One union said hundreds more workers would join the strike on Sunday if an agreement over union demands for a wage increase and pension rights was not reached.
Royal Dutch Shell said that due to the strike it was temporarily closing production at its Knarr field, which has a daily output of 23,900 barrels of mostly oil, but also natural gas liquids and natural gas.
Norway is Western Europe’s biggest oil producer and the disruption added to rising global oil supply outages and helped push Brent crude prices up 1.2 percent to $79.03 per barrel, following a 1.2 percent climb on Monday amid concerns about global supplies.
The output of Norway’s biggest oil producer Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, was not affected by the strike so far, the company said, even though it was shutting down drilling operations at its Snorre B platform.
Shortly after a midnight deadline passed, a state-appointed mediator said talks between two trade unions, Safe and YS, and the Shipowners’ Association, representing the rig employers, had failed to reach a deal. “The parties were so far apart from each other there was no point presenting a proposal that could be recommended to both sides,” mediator Carl Petter Martinsen said in a statement. -Reuters