Oil labor row stalled in Norway

Aug. 27, 2012 at 7:50 AM

OSLO, Norway, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- The chief negotiator for the Norwegian Oil Industry Association said a national mediator may be needed to end a despite with oil services workers.

Service workers in the Norwegian oil sector are seeking better wages. Jan Hodneland, chief negotiator for the Norwegian Oil Industry Association, said talks are deadlocked. "A good offer" was put forward, he said, but the industry has balked.

"We now hope the national mediator can help us to achieve a solution," he said in a statement.

He added that the position taken by the union representing service workers regarding work shifts was "particularly demanding." Both sides, he said, would meet at an undisclosed date to help settle the issue.

A July labor strike by offshore workers in Norway 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 said July oil production in Norway was expected to decline 400,000 barrels per day to 1.6 million bpd, the lowest level since 1991.

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