Labor strike biggest blow to Norway in years

July 13, 2012 at 9:51 AM

VIENNA, July 13 (UPI) -- July oil production from Norway, the world's seventh-largest exporter, is expected to be at its lowest level in more than 20 years, the IEA said.

A labor strike in Norway this month halted about 15 percent of the oil production on the country's continental shelf. A complete shutdown was averted when the country's labor minister intervened at the last minute to force arbitration.

The International Energy Agency, in its monthly oil market report, said July oil production is expected to decline by 400,000 barrels per day to 1.6 million bpd. That's the lowest level since 1991.

"The Labor Ministry also cited the economic consequences of a shutdown on Norway's economy, with the offshore oil and gas industry accounting for 21 percent of gross domestic product and almost half of Norway's exports," the report stated.

The Norwegian government this week gave Statoil, one of the company's affected by the strike, consent to move ahead with two new wells at one of its offshore oil discoveries on the outer continental shelf.

The company this week announced its Hammerfest liquefied natural gas project stopped production when ice formed on a cooling unit. The labor strike had halted 7 percent of the country's natural gas output.

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