SHARE
Image courtesy of Norsk olje og gass/Flickr.

Hundreds of Norwegian services workers have gone on strike but the action is not expected to immediately impact oil and gas production.

Industri Energi, a union representing service firm employees, said on Wednesday that over 300 oil service employees are on strike after “mediation failed.”

The strike began at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

The union has not disclosed how long the action is expected to last.

“We strike because Norwegian oil and gas did not show any willingness to meet our moderate demands,” Industri Energi department leader Ommund Stokka said.

Stokka said that his union has rejected the terms of a deal industry members reached with the Norwegian Union of Energy Workers, also known as Safe, in July.

Safe reached a new pay agreement for its offshore services members with the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association following mediation.

“Industri Energi cannot accept that a small federation, Safe with 600 members should dictate terms accepted for 6000 Industri Energi members on the oil service agreement,” Stokka said.

The striking union members work for Schlumberger Norge, Baker Hughes Norge, Halliburton Norge, Oceaneering and Oceaneering Asset Integrity.

The strike will affect environmental treatment of drilling waste and well monitoring activities.

Those impacts are expected to affect drilling at fixed and mobile facilities, the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association said on Wednesday.

The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association said the strike will not immediately affect oil and gas production on the Norwegian continental shelf.

However, the association said the strike could impact production “if the conflict is stepped up.”

Industri Energi said it will also remove computer engineers who work with well monitoring and employees who work with unmanned underwater vehicles on Songa`s cat D -rigs as part of the strike.

“In the first place we will take out a limited number of members, but it is possible escalation of the strike may become necessary,” Industri Energi secretary in charge of the oil service agreement Einar Johannessen said.

State-appointed mediator Mats Wilhelm Ruland told Reuters that industry members and Industri Energi are not close to reaching an agreement.

The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association said that Industri Energi’s demands are “unreasonably high.”

“In a year where about 40,000 people have lost their jobs in the petroleum sector and the companies are considering further downsizing, Industry Energy goes on strike for a far higher pay rise than any other group in Norway. It’s completely irresponsible,” director general of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen said.