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Norway’s Oil Strike Could End As Soon As Friday

There is a chance that the oil workers’ strike in Norway will end as soon as on Friday, the head of the trade union whose members are on strike for more than a week told Reuters.

The Lederne trade union is the only Norwegian oil workers’ union that has not accepted the financial terms of a new sector deal for pay for offshore workers. Lederne members are on strike since September 30, which escalated on October 5, and could further escalate at midnight on October 11, if the union and the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (NOG) – which leads talks on behalf of oil firms – do not reach an agreement over pay.

So far, the strike has resulted in the shut-in of 8 percent of Norway’s oil and gas production, or 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), some 60 percent of which is gas. The strike shut down four fields operated by Equinor in the North Sea, the Norwegian giant said on Monday, noting that production at the giant oilfield Johan Sverdrup “continues for the present.”

Early on Friday, Lederne said that there would be talks today with a government-appointed mediator. In case talks fail, the strike would escalate from October 11, the union said.

Speaking to Reuters, Lederne leader Audun Ingvartsen said: “We are getting a new proposal from the NOG, and I hope that we can have a deal today.”

Related: Oil Spikes After OPEC Claims: ‘’The Worst Is Over For The Oil Market’’

If talks break down again with no deal, nearly 25 percent of Norway’s oil and gas production could be shut down, including output at Johan Sverdrup, the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association said on Thursday. In case of extension of the strike, more oilfields operated by Equinor will have to shut down, including the giant Johan Sverdrup, as well as fields operated by ConocoPhillips and Wintershall Dea Norge, the association said.

The strike in Norway has partly supported oil price gains this week. Yet, its impact in terms of oil production has been somewhat muted so far, energy analytics services provider OilX said in research. However, if the dispute drags on and the strike continues until the end of October, a cumulative 13 million barrels or 433,000 bpd over October would be lost, equivalent to 26 percent of total Norwegian oil output, according to OilX.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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