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Norway Oil And Gas Strike Ends After Government Intervention

Norwegian offshore oil and gas workers agreed to end their strike after the government intervened to prevent further fallout from the industrial action.

The strike could have reduced Norway's gas exports by as much as 60 percent and would have pushed already excessive European gas prices even higher.

"Workers are going back to work as soon as possible. We are cancelling the planned escalation," the leader of the Lederne trade union, one of the striking organizations, said, as quoted by Reuters.

The Norwegian government stepped in to refer the dispute to an independent wage board, which, per AFP, effectively ended the industrial action, which had started on Tuesday with workers walking off the job at three offshore fields. It is now up to the board to resolve the dispute.

"The announced escalation is critical in today's situation, both with regards to the energy crisis and the geopolitical situation we are in with a war in Europe," said Norway's Labor Minister Marte Mjos Persen said.

Strikes in the oil and gas industry in Norway are a regular occurrence as their wage contracts are re-negotiated annually. The industrial action normally gets resolved fast before it has had a chance to have a serious effect on Norway's oil and gas output.

This year, it has been particularly important to avoid or minimize strikes as Europe relies heavily on Norway for its oil and gas supply now that it is shunning its hitherto biggest supplier, Russia.

Norway produced 1.83 million barrels of crude oil and other liquids in May, the latest month for which the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has released data. Of this, crude oil totaled 1.62 million barrels daily.

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The country also produced 322.8 million cu m of natural gas in May, a slight decline from the April average daily, which stood at 329.2 million cu m.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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