Norway Oil-Refinery Strike Averted After Overtime Negotiations

Norwegian oil workers reached an agreement with their employers in overtime talks, averting a strike at the country’s biggest refinery.

Members of the SAFE union struck a deal with the Norwegian Oil & Gas Association, a lobby group representing employers, five hours after Monday’s midnight deadline. That not only avoids a shutdown at the Mongstad refinery, but ensures that offshore fields feeding the plant also stay open.

Both the union and NOGA confirmed the agreement.

The disagreement between oil giant Equinor ASA and refinery workers had proved so intractable that a state mediator had to be called in. Mediation began Monday morning on the understanding that failure to find a solution by midnight would trigger a strike by 12 workers.

State-controlled Equinor said early Monday that a walkout would put more than 600,000 barrels of daily crude output from the Johan Sverdrup and Troll fields at risk. It could also affect oil and gas production from several other Equinor-operated fields, including the Kvitebjorn, Byrding and Visund deposits.

“We are satisfied that the parties have agreed on a new collective agreement for the next period,” chief negotiator Elisabeth Brattebø Fenne with the Norwegian Oil & Gas Association said in a statement.

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