OSLO, Sept 4 Around 360 Norwegian oil services
workers from five companies will go on strike if wage and
benefits negotiations fail, just two months after a production
workers strike shut part of the country's oil and gas industry.
"If a strike happens, construction and exploration is most
likely to be hit, not production," Arild Theimann, a spokesman
for Norway's largest oil workers union, Industri Energi, said on
"Oil service workers have assignments on all kinds of
installations, so it is hard to tell which installations are
going to be affected in the event of a strike," he said.
Offshore production workers shut around 13 percent of
Norway's oil output in a 16-day strike in July, and only
returned to work after the government broke up the labour action
when companies threatened a full lock out.
Norway is the world's eight biggest oil exporter and
Europe's second biggest gas supplier, and many saw the strike as
a threat to the country's reputation as a safe energy supplier.
The possible services worker strike would include employees
of Halliburton (120), Schlumberger (120),
Weatherford (65), Subsea 7 (35) and
Wage negotiations between the union and employees broke down
last month and talks will now continue with the help of a state
mediator at an unspecified date.
Unions earlier said that if a strike happened, it could not
come before the second half of September given the pace of the
As part of the mediation, unions have to declare how any
workers would take part in the initial phase of the strike.
Norwegian oil workers are the best paid in the world,
earning $180,000 on average, but continue to demand a bigger
share of Norway's economic success amid Europe's economic
The Norwegian economy grew by an annual 5 percent in the
second quarter, the fastest in Europe. Unemployment is 3 percent
and the country has no debt and no budget deficit.