Statoil ASA (STL), Norway’s largest oil producer, said it would be unable to fly about 1,500 workers to its offshore platforms as an escalating pay strike by airport security personnel is grounding helicopters.
Three out of five heliports Statoil uses will be closed tomorrow, limiting take-offs to 11, spokesman Ola Anders Skauby said. That’s compared with the usual 50 to 60 return flights necessary to ensure personnel rotation on about 40 offshore installations.
“Tomorrow we will have a situation that’s a little more challenging,” he said by phone, after a union representing security personnel said it would take an additional 106 workers off the job in a fourth day of strikes at Norwegian airports.
It’s the second time in as many weeks that Statoil is affected by labor conflicts in Norway, after a now resolved strike by pilot boat workers last week threatened output.
The company will be able to keep oil and gas output at normal levels “for the time being,” Skauby said. “We are working with a short time perspective, following the situation from one day to the other, and we won’t speculate on when the effect would be more than personnel not rotating as planned.”
Rotations were one day behind schedule after three days of the strike, and operations on Statoil’s platforms were “near normal,” he said.
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