Norway Oil Strike Expands Though Supply Impact Seen Limited

(Bloomberg) -- Norwegian drilling workers escalated a strike early Monday, with the impact on the country’s oil production expected to remain limited to one North Sea field in the short term.

The SAFE union took out a further 901 workers on top of 669 already on strike, broadening a walkout over pay and pensions to 28 installations off Norway, the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association said in a statement. Analysts have said they don’t expect the escalation to lead to any immediate additional outages.

The stoppage marks the first time since 2012 that industrial action has hampered Norwegian oil production, though it’s targeting supplier companies rather than producers and mostly affecting operations unrelated to current output.

The only field to have closed is Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Knarr deposit, where the production ship is operated by another company whose workers have walked out. The field, taken offline when the strike started July 10, pumps about 23,000 barrels of oil and 3,500 barrels of natural-gas liquids a day, according to the latest public figures.

Additional installations now affected by the strike include Equinor ASA’s Statfjord C, Snorre A and Visund platforms, two platforms on Aker BP ASA’s Valhall field and one on ConocoPhillips’ Ekofisk development.

Aker BP has said it doesn’t expect any impact on output in the short term. Equinor said Monday that while the strike is affecting rigs and drilling operations, production hasn’t been hurt. It declined to comment on potential consequences should the walkout continue. Conoco didn’t reply to requests for comment.

Analysts from Bloomberg Intelligence and Rystad Energy AS said last week they don’t expect output from the additional fields to be affected. In the longer term, if the strike drags on, there could be an impact on supply caused by delays to new production wells and maintenance.

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