The Norwegian Government has intervened to end a strike in the nation’s energy sector that cut oil and gas outputs. Workers had threatened to stop production at a time when Europe is scrambling to balance losses in Russian output. 

Norwegian Labour and Social Inclusion Minister Marte Mjos Persen said that the energy crisis and the geopolitical situation made the situation escalate quickly and critically. 

This strike, which began on Monday, reduced gas supplies to the UK and many parts of continental Europe, leading gas prices to rise to a four-month high Workers were demanding an increment in their payscales to handle rising inflation, which was partly set off due to a drastic rise in oil and gas prices since the war in Ukraine began.

The Norwegian Government, which has the power to intervene to end industrial disputes, has proposed a compulsory wage board to bring an end to the dispute. The Norwegian Oil and Gas association, a lobby for oil and gas employers, had stated that the strikes could have stopped almost 60% of gas exports to Europe by the end of this week. 

There were concerns that the strike would make it more difficult for Europe to fill gas storage tanks in advance of what is anticipated to be a difficult winter, even though imminent shortages were unlikely due to low demand for gas during the warmer months.

The losses incurred due to the strike could obstruct filling up the storage facilities with a prospect of Europe facing extreme gas shortages and rationing this fall. 

Due to the war in Ukraine and associated sanctions, the continent is experiencing its worst energy crisis in decades as a result of Russia, the key supplier to the area, reducing exports. The Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany is scheduled to close for maintenance this month, raising concerns that it won’t reopen to complete capacity. 

Norway’s labour minister said in a statement that the government had “no other choice” but to intervene in this matter as the conflict has “such great social consequences for the whole of Europe”.