- Sputnik International, 1920
Energy Crisis in Europe
Europe is bracing for tough winter as US-led push to “punish” Moscow for its military operation in Ukraine backfired on the EU, which has faced months of skyrocketing energy prices and rising inflation after Brussels joined Washington in attempting to “phase out” Russian oil, coal and gas.

Norwegian Oil and Gas Workers' Strike May Further Imperil Europe's Energy Supplies

© AFP 2023 / DANIEL SANNUM LAUTENA container is lifted by a crane on May 15, 2008 on the Sleipner gas platform, some 250 kms off Norway's coast in the North Sea
A container is lifted by a crane on May 15, 2008 on the Sleipner gas platform, some 250 kms off Norway's coast in the North Sea - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.07.2022
As energy shipments from Russia have dropped to multiyear lows due to sanctions, some nations' unwillingness to pay up in rubles and the EU's overall desire to divest from Russian energy, Norway’s supplies are becoming increasingly important for Europe in times of troubles.
Norwegian oil and gas workers at state giant Equinor have gone on a strike following demands for wage increases to compensate for the rising inflation, which reached 5.7 percent earlier in May, a level unseen in decades.

“The strike has begun, trade union leader Audun Ingvartsen declared, after a majority of the members voted no to a solution proposed by Norwegian Oil and Gas.
So far, 74 personnel stopped their work on the platforms Gudrun, Oserbeg Aust and Sør, which will have to shut down. The conflict will escalate on Wednesday when 117 union members of Aasta Hansteen, Heidrun and Kristin will join the strike, prompting the platforms to close production as well.
If no solution is reached between the parties, the strike will also hit the platforms Gullfaks A, Gullfaks C and Sleipner from 9 July, which are manned by nearly 400 staff.
“This is a comprehensive strike, Elisabeth Brattebø Fenne, head of organization and working life in Norwegian oil and gas, told national broadcaster NRK.
The strike will wipe out about 13 percent of the total Norwegian gas production, whereas oil production will decrease by nearly 7 percent.
The Norwegian government has said in a statement that they are closely following the conflict. It has the power to stop the strike under exceptional circumstances.
The strike has begun at a time when oil and gas prices are high and natural gas supplies in Europe are already tight due to a decline in Russia's exports triggered by massive EU sanctions on the one hand and Moscow's demand for payment in rubles on the other hand, which several European nations chose to ignore. On top of that, Russian state-run Gazprom slashed shipments through its biggest Nord Stream pipeline by 60 percent, citing disrupted maintenance of crucial equipment due to international sanctions.
An overview of the Mongstad oil refinery in western Norway, the most polluting of the country (file) - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.05.2022
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As Russia’s shipments have dropped to multiyear lows, Norway’s exports are becoming increasingly important for Europe. In 2021, Norway supplied a quarter of gas demand in the EU and the UK and some 8 percent of its oil demand. Recently, Oslo claimed it could replace more Russian gas if Europe commits to buying. Therefore, if the strike goes on, it may further jeopardize Europe's energy supply.
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