A labour strike by the Norwegian trade union Lederne has escalated, impacting production at six fields on the Norwegian continental shelf, according to the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association
As a result of the escalation on 4 October, Equinor conducted a controlled closure of the fields Gudrun, Gina Krog, Kvitebjørn and Valemon on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). Equinor is the operator of the Gudrun, Gina Krog and Kvitebjørn fields, while Nepture Energy operates Gjøa. As a result of the closure of Kvitebjørn, the Valemon field was also shut, said the Norwegian energy company in a statement. Neptune Energy’s closure of Gjøa impacts the associated Vega field, which is operated by Wintershall Dea Norway.
The closure of the six fields impacts about 330,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day (boed) or about 8% of the 4M boed of oil and gas on the NCS.
At present, production at the Johan Sverdrup platform continues.
A total of 54 members of Lederne are on strike at Gudrun, Gina Krog and Kvitebjørn, reported Equinor. Forty-three members of Lederne have been on strike there since 30 September.
The strike is the result of a breach of mediation in the negotiations between the employer organisation Norwegian Oil and Gas Association and Lederne.
Norwegian Oil and Gas reported that 85% of the offshore employees of Industri Energi og Safe have accepted its financial package. The leaders of the smallest union have chosen not to accept the terms and instead have gone on strike. Additionally, they are demanding an expansion of the collective bargaining area – something that is outside what can be negotiated in the shelf agreement, says chief negotiator Jan Hodneland.
Offshore drilling contractors recently agreed to a wage deal with local labour unions.
Jack-up, floater drilling up
While the labour unrest is impacting oil production out of Norway, overall global offshore drilling was up in week 41 2020, according to RigLogix data from Westwood Global Energy Group. Globally, the number of offshore jack-up rigs rose two week-on-week to 326, the highest level in five weeks, strengthened by activity in the Middle East. Floater activity rose to 118 units contracted globally, up one week-on-week, with positive activity in the North Sea.
In the Norwegian North Sea, Dolphin Drilling’s offshore drilling unit Borgland Dolphin is now at the Kvina Shipyard following the conclusion of drilling the wildcat well 6204/11-3 for Wellesley Petroleum AS, operator of production licence 829. The well was drilled about 75 km north of the Gjøa field in the North Sea, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).
Wellsley Petroleum had hoped to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks in the Åsgard Formation, but no reservoir rocks were encountered.
Well 6204/11-3 was drilled in water of 211 m to a vertical depth of 1,290 m below sea level and was terminated in basement rock. The well has now been permanently plugged and abandoned, according to NPD.
Meanwhile, authorities have given the green light to operator Aker BP to start production from Phase 1 of the development of the Aerfugl gas and condensate field in the Norwegian Sea.
Production is also taking place from an earlier test production well in Phase 1 and an accelerated well in Phase 2, which was drilled from an available well slot on one of Skarv’s subsea templates.
All production on Aerfugl will be tied in to Skarv, situated 210 km west of Sandnessjøen in Nordland county. Aker BP and the other licensees plan to complete the Aerfugl development with the remaining two wells in Phase two.
Export of gas from Skarv will be postponed to obtain capacity for the Aerfugl gas on Skarv FPSO. This will contribute to improved oil recovery on Skarv.
In its latest fleet status report in September, drilling contractor Noble said it had secured a contract extension from Equinor for the jackup rig Noble Lloyd Noble to drill in the UK North Sea to late November, with a two-month option.
In the same report, Noble also said that Noble Lloyd Noble was secured for a three-well contract by Equinor for the NCS from June 2021 to January 2022, with 12 one-well options. The total value of the day rates for the fixed part of the contract is estimated at US$51M. Additional costs cover integrated services such as managed pressure drilling, treatment of cuttings and wastewater as well as running casing and tubing, rig modifications, mobilisation and demobilisation.