Hundreds of offshore workers will go on strike for ten days between now and the end of the year following an escalating dispute over pay.
The industrial action will hit platforms in the North Sea operated by energy giants such as BP and Equinor, and raise further questions over supply security this winter.
Contract workers involved in drilling and maintenance will take part in five two-day strikes, after Unite workers rejected a five per cent pay rise.
The union considers the offer to be a real terms pay cut, with inflation currently at 9.9 per cent.
It will involve workers employed by Archer, Maersk, Transocean and Odfjell.
The pay dispute involves workers covered by the United Kingdom Drilling Contractors Association.
Strike action was supported by 95 per cent, in a ballot turnout of 86 per cent.
It will involve a series of 48-hour stoppages every second week for the first 8 weeks, beginning on 20 and 21 October.
A further series of stoppages will take place on 3-4 and 17-18 November, 1-2 and 15-16 December.
Unite has further warned that the action could thereafter escalate to all-out strike action.
Industrial action to take place across North Sea
Platforms affected include BP Clair and Clair Ridge platforms, and also Equinor’s Mariner platform causing major operational problems for oil and gas operators.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s offshore drillers and contractors are ready to take their employers head on. The offer on the table is a substantial real terms pay cut. It comes from the very same companies who are driving the cost of living crisis.
“The oil and gas industry is swimming in record operator profits which is being fuelled by the consistently high price of oil and gas. Our offshore members have their union’s full support in fighting for better jobs, pay and conditions.”
Irene Bruce, ESA Manager at Offshore Energies UK, told City A.M. it was aware of the upcoming industry action.
She said: “Employers and unions are working hard and constructively to address workforce concerns and ensure the North Sea remains an attractive and safe place to work. We are certain all parties are looking to resolve matters as soon as possible.”
Sites included in the strike are Alba North, Beryl Alpha, Beryl Field, Brae Alpha, Brent Alpha, Captain WPP, Clair, Clair Ridge, Claymore, Cormorant Alpha, Forties Alpha, Forties Delta, Maersk Innovator, Maersk Resolve, Magnus, Mariner, North Cormorant, Paul B Loyd Jnr, Piper Bravo, Tern Alpha and Topaz/Cormorant Alpha.
Archer, BP, Equinor, Maersk, Odfjell, Offshore Energies UK and Transocean have abeen approached for comment.