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Norway Averts Oil Strike

Norway's oil industry agreed on a new wage deal with three trade unions, averting yet another strike danger that would have disrupted the country's production.

Per a Reuters report, the deal, sealed by the Norwegian Shipowners' Association and the three trade unions—Industri Energi, Safe, and DSO—covered 8,250 workers.

Earlier this month, talks between the oil industry trade unions and their employers became heated again, with some unions threatening a strike if their demands were not met by the employers. Eventually, the negotiating sides agreed on a deal in principle, and there were no strikes.

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Norway produces some 2 million barrels of oil and other hydrocarbon liquids daily. A disruption in its output would have pushed oil prices even higher.

Strikes during the annual negotiation of new wages for workers in Norway's oil industry are a relatively frequent occurrence that invariably ends with a deal. This year, however, strikes would have contributed to an already imbalanced oil market and aggravated, albeit temporarily, an already grave oil supply situation.

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Although the trade unions that were engaged in the latest wage negotiations said that even if a strike began, it would not affect output, Reuters noted in its report that the strike could have escalated, eventually affecting oil and gas production.

Speaking of oil and gas production, the International Energy Agency advised Norway recently to prepare for a decline in oil demand as the world moves towards a net-zero future. In a report from earlier this month, the IEA said, "Looking beyond 2025, the level of future investment in Norway's oil fields remains uncertain."

It added, however, that Norway was uniquely placed to take advantage of the transition, although it still had a lot of work to do to hit its own targets of reducing emissions by 90-95 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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