Norwegian Offshore Strike Set to Expand

ekofisk bravo
ConocoPhillips' Ekofisk complex could be among the facilities affected if the strike expands (ConocoPhillips)

Published Oct 6, 2020 10:11 PM by The Maritime Executive

Norwegian managers' and engineers' union Lederne said Tuesday that it will expand its offshore oil platform strike to cover four more fields if it cannot reach a contract agreement with the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (NOG) by October 10. 

The expansion of the strike would cover ConocoPhillips' Ekofisk Bravo and Kilo, along with Equinor's Kristin, Oseberg South and Oseberg East platforms. It would take the number of employees participating in the strike up to about 260, roughly a quarter of Lederne's offshore sector membership. 

"I hope that with this withdrawal we awaken key players in Norwegian oil and gas," said Lederne union head Audun Ingvartsen, speaking to NRK. 

At present, the ongoing strike action covers 169 members on the Johan Sverdrup, Gudrun, Gina Krog, Kvitebjørn, Valemon and Gjøa fields. Johan Sverdrup has not shut down, but the disruption at the other fields affects about eight percent of the Norwegian continental shelf's capacity. 

Lederne's main demand is that it wants to see collective bargaining coverage for its members who will be transitioning to work in control rooms on land rather than on board oil platforms in the North Sea. According to NOG chief negotiator Jan Hodneland, such shoreside work "falls outside the scope of the negotiation over the offshore agreements.”

"[Operators seek to] move a significant part of our jobs on land. We said yes to this, but then they must say yes to us continuing to represent our members," said Ingvartsen on Tuesday. 

Norway's two largest offshore workers' unions, Industri Energi and Safe, have already signed a contract agreement with NOG.