Norway Oil-Service Strike May Hurt Production, Union Says

A strike by Norwegian oil-platform workers that began three days ago may hurt crude and gas output in the country, western Europe’s largest producer of the fuels.

“The service level for day-to-day operations has now been halved,” meaning production at some facilities may be affected within days, Hilde-Marit Rysst, leader of the Safe union, said today by phone. “Platforms that have a lot of projects and modifications ongoing will notice it first.”

About 1,400 workers conducting insulation and maintenance work for Bilfinger SE (GBF), Beerenberg Corp. AS and Kaefer GmbH both off- and onshore are working at 45 percent capacity in a protest over pay. The dispute arose less than 1 1/2 years after Norway’s longest oil-worker strike disrupted production, prompting the government to intervene to avert a complete shutdown.

The effect on output from the current strike would vary from site to site, according to Rysst, who said Safe couldn’t comment on the potential impact to each facility.

“We are seeking to reduce the effect of the conflict on our customers but can’t avoid that the total production capacity is temporarily reduced,” Ole Klemsdal, a Beerenberg spokesman, said by e-mail, referring to his own company’s services. No one at Kaefer and Bilfinger was immediately available to comment.

Statoil ASA (STL), Norway’s largest energy company, also couldn’t comment immediately on the possible consequences to its operations, Oerjan Heradstveit, a spokesman, said by phone.

There’s no end date for the strike and no talks are currently planned between Safe and the employers, Rysst said. Safe is the only union involved.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mikael Holter in Oslo at mholter2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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