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Strike Cuts Total's North Sea Gas Output

Strike Cuts Total's North Sea Gas OutputStrike Cuts Total's North Sea Gas Output

Strike action on Monday cut flows from the Total-operated Elgin-Franklin and Alwyn natural gas field in the UK North Sea by 13 million cubic meters per day, giving the UK gas price a small boost.

The Unite trade union confirmed industrial action had begun at the Alwyn, Dunbar and Elgin platforms for a 24-hour period, with a series of further 24-hour and 12-hour stoppages planned in the coming weeks, Platts reported.

Lower gas demand for power generation in the UK and a steady supply picture meant the loss of production from the fields did not have as big an impact as might have been the case.

Elgin Franklin-flows into the Bacton SEAL pipeline system were reduced to zero early Monday and were not set to restart until Tuesday evening, Total said in a REMIT note on its website.

Alwyn flows into the NSMP terminal at St Fergus have also stopped and are not expected to restart until "some point" on Tuesday, Total said.

Elgin Franklin can flow at 10 mcm/d and Alwyn at 3 mcm/d, according to Total's data.

"Production has been stopped and the wells shut," the Unite union said in emailed comments. "No further talks are planned at present."

Unite regional officer, John Boland, called on Total to "come back to us with an improved offer to get our members back to work and the wells up and running again."

Total said it remained committed to consultation with the workforce. "What is at stake here is to ensure the long-term sustainability of our business in the North Sea, to enhance overall safety and remain the most efficient in our operations," a spokeswoman said.

A separate strike by Total's workers at the Shetland Gas Plant, which handles flows from the West of Shetland area, was postponed by a week to allow time for talks.

 

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