About 755 Norwegian oil workers could go on strike from June 25 if employers and unions fail to agree on a new wage deal before a July 1 deadline that would limit output from Western Europe's top producer, trade unions said on June 27.
A final round of mandatory talks will be hosted by a state mediator on June 30 and July 1 in an effort to avoid a conflict that could start the following day.
Employers have argued that a plunge in oil prices since 2014 must be accompanied by cost cuts and flexible work practices to help make the industry stay competitive. Unions said members should receive pay increases matching those in other industries.
The Industri Energi union said it would take out 524 members if the talks break down, affecting the Statoil-operated Oseberg, Gullfaks and Kvitebjoern fields.
The SAFE union said it would take out 156 workers on ExxonMobil Corp.'s (NYSE: XOM) Balder, Jotun and Ringhorne fields.
A protracted strike could ultimately result in more than 7,400 workers going on strike, data from the state mediator's office showed.
"We do of course wish for the mediation to lead to a deal, so that a conflict is avoided," the Safe union said in a statement.
The three labor unions will negotiate on behalf of the oil workers, while Norwegian Oil and Gas will represent oil and gas firms.
Reuters separately reported that if the planned strikes were to go ahead, France's Engie would have to shut down production at its Gjoea platform. Gjoea and the tied-in Vega Field produce 17.3 million cubic meters per day of gas. All the gas produced from Gjoea is imported to Scotland's St. Fergus terminal in Scotland through the FLAGS Pipeline, Reuters said.
Reuters also said that the Lederne trade union said 75 Engie workers could strike.
In 2012, a 16-day strike among some of Norway's oil workers cut the country's output of crude by about 13% and its natural gas production by about 4%.
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