July 23 (UPI) -- An offshore union said Monday that production at three North Sea platforms operated by Total was shut down as a result of a labor strike.
"We can confirm that the strike action on Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin platforms has gone ahead as planned," John Boland, a regional officer for the labor group Unite, said in a statement emailed to UPI. "Production has been stopped and the wells have been shut."
Unite announced a series of planned labor strikes at the platforms operated by the French supermajor in early July. Full-day work stoppages are planned intermittently through August. A continuous ban on overtime hours began Monday.
The outages, along with similar labor action in Norwegian waters, have been supportive of crude oil prices. The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark based on North Sea oils, was up more than 1 percent Monday morning EDT in part because of North Sea labor issues. Renewed tensions between Iran and the United States were adding support as well.
The French supermajor said production from the region 30 years after initial discoveries has topped 1.2 billion barrels.
Total had no formal announcement on the labor dispute. The company reported adjusted net income for the first quarter of $2.9 billion, a 13 percent improvement over the same period in 2017. Total publishes second quarter results on Thursday.
Unite's strike action lasts for 24 hours.
"The dispute concerns the company's wage review and its plans to force workers to increase their offshore working time," the labor union stated.
Trade group Oil & Gas U.K. said it was opposed to labor action in the North Sea because it may diminish investor confidence in a region looking to offset years of field maturation.