Strike escalation hits Norne

June 23, 2004, 17:00 CEST

Production from Statoil’s Norne field in the Norwegian Sea will be hit by an escalation of the strike currently being staged by two of Norway’s offshore unions.

Huldra in the North Sea could also be affected by today’s announcement by the Federation of Oil Workers Trade Unions (OFS) and the Norwegian Association for Supervisors.

The two unions said that 56 members of the OFS on the Norne production ship and 11 from the Supervisors would be joining the strike at 24.00 on Sunday.

This extension of the conflict will cost 130,000 barrels of oil output per day from Norne, in which Statoil has a 25 per cent interest. The total daily gas loss will be 2.5-3 million cubic metres.

Norsk Hydro’s Heimdal development, where Statoil has a 20 per cent holding, is also being hit by the escalation. That could halt all gas treatment and transport via the North Sea field.

This could in turn have consequences for Statoil’s Huldra field, since its daily gas output of 10 million cubic metres is processed on Heimdal.

Such processing would cease, with the loss of two million cubic metres of gas per day for the group. In addition, 20,000 barrels of condensate per day would be lost from Huldra. Statoil's share is about 4,000 barrels.

If processing and transport on Heimdal have to stop, the operator has announced that gas exports from its Oseberg field centre – where Statoil has 15.3 per cent – must also be halted.

The group's gas transport via Heimdal would be reduced by a total of about 6.5 million cubic metres if the field has to shut down.

The group's commitments to gas buyers will be met from other sources.

Production from Statoil’s Snorre and Vigdis fields in the Tampen area of the North Sea has already been hit by the strike.