Equinor To Cut 30% of E&P Staff, Shuts In Fields Due to Labor Strike
Equinor plans to cut its global exploration staff by 30% in the next 3 years and plans to drill 30–40 wells globally this year. Ongoing labor strikes have led to the operator shutting in four of its platforms.
Equinor’s plans to cut its global exploration staff by about 30% by 2023 due to weak crude demand brought on by the economic downturn and COVID-19 pandemic. The company told Reuters it wanted to focus on select areas for new resources, including Norway, Brazil, and the US, with plans to drill 30–40 wells globally in 2020.
In August, the Norwegian operator it said would cut jobs in the US, Canada, and UK following the drop in oil prices earlier this year and would not drill any new unconventional wells this year in the US. Earlier in the year, it announced operating cost reductions of approximately $3 billion to $8.5 billion.
Four of Equinor’s oil and gas fields in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) shut in production due to a union strike prompted by a breakdown in negotiations between employer organization Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (NOGA) and the trade union Lederne.
The Kvitebjørn, Valemon, Gudrun, and Gina Krog fields, operated by Equinor, are shut in due to the strike. A total of 54 members of Lederne are on strike at Gudrun, Gina Krog, and Kvitebjørn. Equinor said the Valemon field must be shut down because it is linked to Kvitebjørn.
Equinor’s Johan Sverdrup platform, which has 43 workers on strike, continues still operating.
Two other fields, not operated by Equinor, were also shut in due to the strike: the Gjøa field, operated by Neptune Energy, and Vega field, operated by Wintershall Dea Norway. The six fields in total produce 330,000 BOED, according to NOGA—about 8% of the total 4 million BOED of oil and gas production on the NCS.