Norwegian oil drilling unions seek mediation as wage talks break down

OSLO, May 19 (Reuters) – Wage talks involving around 8,000 oil rig workers in Norway broke down on Thursday, unions said, raising the risk of a strike that would disrupt oil and gas exploration.

Talks between the Norwegian Shipowners Association (NSA) and the unions Safe, Industri Energi and DSO will resume later under the guidance of a state-appointed mediator, and could end in a strike if those talks fail.

Any industrial action would most likely only have a marginal impact on oil and gas production in the short term, but could have a greater impact in the medium to long term, as expansion projects and the start-up of new fields would be delayed.

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Companies involved in the talks include Transocean, Saipem (SPMI.MI), Odfjell Drilling (ODLO.OL), Maersk Drilling (DRLCO.CO), Archer (ARCHA.OL), Seadrill (SDRL.OL) and others.

Unions represent workers on mobile offshore units as well as drilling platforms on permanent installations.

Under Norway’s tightly regulated collective bargaining system, workers are only eligible to strike if mediation also fails.

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Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Gwladys Fouché

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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