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Warning of full offshore lockout

October 25, 2004, 17:50 CEST

The Norwegian Shipowners Association gave warning today that it will impose a sympathy lockout on 94 offshore vessels and shuttle tankers on Norway’s continental shelf from 24.00 on 8 November.

Information available to Statoil today indicates that this escalation of an existing labour dispute on the NCS would lead to the gradual shutdown of all fields operated by the group.

The current rig strike was called almost four months ago by the Federation of Oil Workers’ Trade Unions (OFS). All OFS members still at work will also be covered by the lockout.

Statoil’s fields depend on marine operations to maintain production, including standby services as well as supplies of equipment and consumables.

Shuttle tankers are responsible for transporting crude from installations which are not connected to pipeline systems.

“This conflict is negative for us as a third party by cutting production and weakening profitability,” observes Terje Overvik, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway.

“Such disputes also undermine our reputation with customers and partners. As a result, we hope this escalation can help to bring the two sides together and reach agreement on a settlement.”

Statoil will carry out in-house assessments of the possible effects of a lockout on its production and workforce.