Global Energy Tit-Bits

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Oil Workers End Strike in Norway 

Striking Norwegian offshore workers have agreed to end their protest after the government intervened to prevent further fallout from the industrial action.

Reports said the strike could have reduced Norway’s gas exports by as much as 60% and would have pushed already excessive European gas prices even higher.

“Workers are going back to work as soon as possible. We are cancelling the planned escalation,” the leader of the Lederne trade union, one of the striking organizations, said, as quoted by Reuters.

The Norwegian government stepped in to refer the dispute to an independent wage board, which, per AFP, effectively ended the industrial action.

“The announced escalation is critical in today’s situation, both with regards to the energy crisis and the geopolitical situation we are in with a war in Europe,” said Norway’s Labor Minister Marte Mjos Persen said.

Strikes in the industry in Norway are a regular occurrence as their wage contracts are re-negotiated annually. The industrial action normally gets resolved before it has had a chance to have a serious effect on Norway’s oil and gas output.

Norway produced 1.83 million barrels of oil and other liquids in May, the latest month for which the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has released data. Of this, crude oil totaled 1.62 million barrels daily.

The country also produced 322.8 million cu m of natural gas in May, a slight decline from the April average daily, which stood at 329.2 million cu m.

China Continues Purchase of Record Levels of Russian

China likely imported another 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of discounted Russian oil in June after bringing in around the same amount in May, keeping Russia as its top oil supplier ahead of Saudi Arabia for a second consecutive month.

Russian is estimated to have squeezed out some supply from Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East, as well as West Africa, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing data from tanker tracking firms Refinitiv, Vortexa, and Kpler.

While record imports of Russian continued from May into June in a relatively lackluster overall Chinese imports because of the COVID policies, supply from Saudi Arabia is tracked at around 1.3 million bpd in June, which would be China’s lowest volumes from the world’s top exporter in almost two years, according to Refinitiv data cited by Reuters.

Imports from Saudi Arabia and Iraq may have slumped by 40 percent and 30 percent, respectively, in June compared to May, Vortexa and Refinitiv have estimated. Chinese imports of crude from Angola are also set for a slump in June.

Official Chinese data on crude imports by country is expected to be announced in the second half of this month.


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