Norwegian offshore workers have gone on strike, which will take nearly 90,000 barrels of oil and gas production offline.
Members of the Norwegian Organisation of Managers and Executives (Lederne) downed tools at midnight local time at three offshore fields, demanding wage increases to compensate for rising inflation.
As a result, the country’s largest operator, Equinor, initiated a safe shutdown of the Gudrun, Oseberg South and Oseberg East fields, producing around 89,000 boe per day, of which 27,500 boe per day is natural gas.
A further extension of the strike has been notified for the Heidrun, Kristin and Aasta Hansteen fields, which could take out an additional 333,000 boe per day, of which the majority is natural gas.
The strike was launched just a day after Norway gave the green light for additional production from several fields in an effort to address gas supply shortages and partially compensate for Russian export cutbacks.
Equinor said the industrial action has also been announced from July 9 at Sleipner, Gullfaks A and Gullfaks C, adding that “consequences of this escalation are not yet clear.”
The strike only includes members of the Lederne trade union, which last Thursday rejected a proposed wage agreement, while other union leaders accepted the deal and will not go on strike.
Norway covers a quarter of Europe’s energy consumption and the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association warned that nearly 60% of gas exports on the Norwegian continental shelf will be affected when the strike escalates further from Saturday with an estimated revenue loss of NOK1.8bn ($183m) per day.