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Norway Oil Strike Ends Just As Another Is Set to Begin

Britain’s largest workers union, Unite the Union, threatened strike action on Equinor’s Mariner oil platform, the union said on Friday, and yet another strike on Total’s North Sea fields is due to begin after the weekend, according to Reuters.

The threat of another strike comes just a day after negotiations successfully wrapped up over another strike in the same area.

Norwegian drilling rigs workers agreed to call off the strike their 10-day strike earlier Thursday after the union representing 1,600 striking employees reached a deal with employer the Norwegian Shipowners' Association, the Safe union confirmed in a statement on its website.

The strike began on July 10 after the Safe union and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association could not come to an agreement over wages and pension conditions. The industrial action led to the shutdown of one of Shell-operated field, Knarr filed.

“The strike is over ... All workers will go back to work today,” the lead negotiator for the Safe union told Reuters.

A state-appointed mediator managed to resolve the conflict. “Via the state-appointed mediator, a solution has been found ... and therefore the strike is to end immediately,” the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association said in a statement.

As Western Europe's biggest oil producer, Norway pumps about 2 million barrels per day. The Knarr field had a daily output of 23,900 barrels of oil and 3,500 barrels of natural-gas liquids a day in April, according to the latest available public figures cited in Bloomberg. The strike had limited impact on Norway's output, affecting about 1 percent of its production, but some drillers warned of possible contract cancellations if the dispute goes on for a month or more.

Some other oil rigs involved in drilling or exploration, and support vessels were also affected, rather than producing platforms.

Royal Dutch Shell operates the 23K bbl/day oil field with 45% stake with its co-partners Idemitsu from Japan, Germany's Wintershall and DEA. After a deal was reached, Shell says it is prepared to restart the Knarr field.

“Shell can confirm that we have initiated preparations to restart production from Knarr as the industrial action in Norway has now concluded,” said Shell spokesman.

By Damir Kaletovic for Oilprice.com

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