Norwegian Oil Drillers Call in Mediator after Wage Talks Fail

The parties have now asked for the settlement to be brought before the state mediator.

The sharp drop in oil prices in the past year has been a blow to Norway's massive offshore oil and gas industry, which produces about 20 percent of the country's overall gross domestic product.

"At this stage there are no immediate signs of market improvements and the customers are pushing for cost reductions," the NSA's chief negotiator Jakob Korsgaard said in a statement.

While global oil prices have rebounded more than 40 percent from six-year lows in January, they remain at little more than half of their June 2014 peak.

"The industry needs to prolong the current agreement until the main settlement in 2016," said Korsgaard, who is also managing director of Maersk Drilling in Norway, a unit of A.P. Moeller-Maersk.

No dates have been set for the state mediation, but the Industri Energi union said it expected the negotiations would take place "relatively quickly".

(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Terje Solsvik and Susan Fenton)



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