Well-service workers at Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI:US) started a strike over pay and pensions at 12 offshore oil installations in Norway, threatening output and other operations by companies including Statoil ASA (STL) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (RDSA)
The 114 workers stopped work after a midnight deadline passed without an agreement being reached, the Norwegian Oil Industry Association, or OLF, said in an e-mailed statement.
“There’ll be no short-term impact on production, but we’ll have to postpone some drilling projects,” Ola Anders Skauby, a spokesman for Stavanger, Norway-based Statoil, said in a phone interview. “It will affect drilling on some of the mobile rigs we rent and on some of our own rigs, but we can’t yet say how many projects this will impact.”
The Baker Hughes pay dispute is the third to affect the Norwegian oil industry in the last two weeks. A strike by pilot- boat workers threatened output at land-based facilities before it was resolved on June 2, while a walk-out by security staff at the country’s airports curbed helicopter transport to offshore platforms before the conflict ended on June 8.
“Drilling rigs will fall out first,” Rolf Onarheim, a spokesman for the Safe labor union, said by mobile phone before the talks ended. “In the longer term, oil and gas production might also be affected.”
OLF, which represents employers, also said the Baker Hughes strike will affect both drilling rigs and production platforms. Statoil operates eight of the 12 installations that will be affected, while Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM:US), Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO:US), Centrica Plc (CNA), Suncor Energy Inc (SU), Eni SpA (ENI) and Halliburton Co. (HAL:US) have exclusive or shared operatorships of the others.
Statoil declined to say how much production may become affected if the strike continues.
“We don’t want to speculate on long-term effects because we are a third party affected by this and don’t take part in the oil service labor negotiations,” Skauby said. “But we are keeping an eye on the events.”
Shell in Norway won’t suffer any immediate impact from the strike, Kitty Eide, a spokesperson, said in an e-mail reply to questions, without elaborating on longer term effects.
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