OSLO (Reuters) – Norwegian oil workers could end their 10-day strike later on Friday if a set of new proposals from the oil industry proves satisfactory, the head of the Lederne trade union told Reuters.
Oil firms and union officials were meeting on Friday with a state-appointed mediator to try to end the strike, which threatens to cut output from western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer by some 25%.
The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (NOG), which is leading negotiations on behalf of companies, was not immediately available for comment.
Six offshore fields shut on Monday and a further seven are scheduled to halt operations in the coming days. The oil and gas outage is set to grow to 966,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) by Oct. 14, according to the NOG.
“We are getting a new proposal from the NOG, and I hope that we can have a deal today,” Lederne leader Audun Ingvartsen told Reuters.
He did not disclose the contents of the proposal, which he said would take some time to review.
Lederne wants to match the pay and conditions of workers at onshore remote control rooms with offshore workers, as well as higher wage rises this year than proposed by oil companies.
Friday’s meeting is the first with the state mediator since the strike was announced on Sept. 30, although informal talks have been taking place.
The strike has helped support oil prices this week, with benchmark Brent crude
rising sharply. At 1150 GMT, it was trading down, however, at $43.02.
Gas prices, which also rose earlier in the week, also traded lower.
Norwegian oil workers are among the highest paid in Europe but earn less than those in Australia or North America, a review of the latest available data shows.