Oil labor strike averted in Norway

Sept. 4, 2012 at 6:27 AM

OSLO, Norway, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Employees working on drilling operations in the Norwegian oil industry received a retroactive pay raise to stave off a labor strike, negotiators said.

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 to force arbitration.

Talks between union officials with Industry Energy and oil producers, represented by the Norwegian Oil Industry Association, concluded with a pay raise for drillers.

"We're pleased to have come to terms with Industry Energy over a revised agreement on pay and conditions for drilling personnel," Jan Hodneland, chief negotiator for the Norwegian Oil Industry Association, said in a statement.

More than 100 workers would have walked off the job last weekend had negotiations failed.

The International Energy Agency said July oil production from Norway was as its lowest level since 1991.

Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Ola Borten Moe last week said the country would continue to play a major role as a stable provider of oil and natural gas for international markets.

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