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Norwegian Oil Workers Strike Could Shut Johan Sverdrup Field

By Dominic Chopping

Norwegian oil-and-gas major Equinor ASA said late Wednesday that if a strike by oil workers on the Norwegian continental shelf continues until Oct. 14, the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea will have to close production until further notice.

It said that 43 member of the Lederne union are striking at Johan Sverdrup and although production on the field has not been affected so far, the situation would change if the strike continues to Oct. 14 as the scheduled rotation of personnel would mean insufficient capacity and competence in key functions on the field.

"We hope that in the intervening period there may be a settlement between The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association and the union."

The giant Johan Sverdrup field came on stream in Oct. 2019 and has already produced oil worth more than 50 billion Norwegian kroner ($5.4 billion). It was producing 430,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in March and there are plans to increase production to 470,000 this year.

Wage talks between the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association and trade union Lederne broke down last week and led to 54 workers going on strike from midnight on Sunday.

As a result, the Gudrun, Gina Krog, Kvitebjorn, Valemon, Gjoa and Vega fields were shut down and Lederne has said that a further 93 of its members will now strike from midnight on Oct. 10, affecting the Oseberg Sor, Oseberg Ost, Kristin and Ekofisk Bravo/Kilo platforms.

In total, the six fields already shut down produce 330,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, compared with total production of oil-and-gas on the Norwegian shelf of about 4 million barrels of oil equivalent a day.

Write to Dominic Chopping at dominic.chopping@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 08, 2020 03:35 ET (07:35 GMT)

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