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Oil and gas rig workers started a 12-hour strike today at platforms in the North Sea operated by Total, in the latest industrial action by the employees who are in a dispute over pay and shifts with France’s oil and gas major.
Some 45 workers at platforms in the UK North Sea began the 12-hour strike at 11:00 GMT today, a spokesman for the UK’s biggest trade union, Unite, told Reuters.
Currently, there are no talks planned with Total over the dispute causing the strikes, the spokesman noted.
Last Monday, oil and gas rig workers staged a 24-hour strike at Total’s oil and gas platforms Alwyn, Elgin, and Dunbar. The strike ended as planned early last Tuesday, but the platforms needed up to 24 hours to resume full production.
Due to the strike, gas flows to the UK shores were disrupted last week, but stored crude oil was expected to offset any impacts on oil supply at a time when supply disruptions around the world abound, spare capacity is thinning, and another disruption is looming with the reduction of Iran’s oil exports with the return of the U.S. sanctions.
The fields hit by the 24-hour strike account for some 10 percent of the UK’s gas production. Crude oil production at Alwyn, Elgin, and Dunbar pumps up to 50,000 bpd to the Forties and Brent Blend crude streams—the key components of the Dated Brent benchmark.
The dispute arose after Total wanted to place workers at the platforms on a three-week rotation system instead of two.
“The dispute concerns the company’s wage review and its plans to force workers to increase their offshore working time,” Unite union said earlier this month, when it announced it would go on a strike.
The 24-hour stoppages were planned to begin early morning local time on July 23, August 6, and August 20. The 12-hour stoppages were set to start at noon local time on July 30 and August 13.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.