Norway ends gas strikes that endangered the UK supply

Image credit: UK

Strikes that might have halted the majority of the UK’s gas imports from Norway have been suspended.

The industrial action that was scheduled to take place later this week has been halted, according to the Norwegian Labour Ministry.

According to ONS data, the UK imports around 50% of its gas, and Norway is the major provider, accounting for 77% of imports.

With several nations reducing their reliance on Russian supplies in response to the conflict in Ukraine, Norway’s oil and gas, Europe’s second-largest energy provider behind Russia, are in high demand.

The Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, the employer’s organisation, and the union Lederne, which represents oil and gas workers, had a salary dispute that led to the initiation of the industrial action on Monday.

Three of Equinor’s oil and gas fields had to be shut down as a result of the first phase. On Tuesday evening, more strikes affecting three additional Equinor sites were anticipated.

If the conflict was not settled by Saturday, the union had vowed to go on more strike action.

However, the government had used its power to intervene, according to the labour minister, Marte Mjoes Persen, who spoke to Reuters.

Two terminals Easington in Yorkshire and St. Fergus in Scotland handle the importation of Norwegian gas into the UK.

The planned strike on Saturday would have had an impact on UK supply since it would have temporarily stopped the Sleipner field, a crucial hub for gas exports to the UK.

According to the Financial Times, the gas terminal at Easington, on the coast of East Yorkshire, will receive no deliveries “in the worst-case scenario” from this Saturday, according to Norwegian state-owned Gassco.

Although the operations at Easington would have only been affected by the prospective strike, Gassco claimed that Easington was by far the more important of the two, receiving 80 to 90 per cent of the gas from Norway.

Gas is transported by Gassco to nations around Europe, including Germany and Belgium. Up to 170 million cubic litres of gas, or over 50% of the company’s total daily delivery volume, are estimated to have been lost due to strike action.