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Norway holds oil summit amid strike

June 26, 2012 at 8:41 AM   |   Comments

OSLO, Norway, June 26 (UPI) -- The Norwegian government said delegates from the international energy sector are in the country to discuss the resource potential in the arctic.

Norwegian Energy Minister Ola Borten Moe said industry leaders from the region were in Trondheim for a conference.

"The topic of the conference is prudent resource management as part of a sustainable development in the arctic," a ministerial statement read. "Petroleum activities have been carried out in the arctic for several decades and at this conference the industry and the authorities will share their experiences and future plans."

The conference comes as hundreds of oil workers in Norway strike after negotiations regarding their pensions collapsed last weekend.

Jan Hodneland, chief negotiator for the Norwegian Oil Industry Association, said offshore oil worker unions were "completely unreasonable" and placing themselves above other workers in the country.

Around 700 employees from Statoil, a BP subsidiary and other national oil companies decided to strike. Operations are the Oseberg and Heidrun fields were shut down by the labor action.

NOIC estimates the strike would cost around $25 million per day.

"The unions are imposing substantial costs on the companies and Norwegian society," said Hodneland.

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