Norwegian drilling rig operators have reached a wage deal with all three trade unions representing workers, averting the risk of a strike that could have hit exploration, the companies and the unions said on Friday.
One of the three unions announced on Thursday afternoon it reached an agreement, while the two others followed later.
A number of drilling firms operate off Norway - including Maersk Drilling, Transocean (RIG)
, Fred. Olsen Energy, Odfjell Drilling, Rowan Companies (RDC)
and Songa Offshore - renting out rigs to oil companies.
Oil companies, including Statoil (STO)
, Eni and Lundin Petroleum, which rent rigs to search for hydrocarbon reserves, plan to drill a record 15 wells in the Arctic Barents Sea this year.
The wage deal was signed by the Safe, Industri Energi and DSO unions, as well as the Norwegian Shipowners' Association, which negotiated on behalf of the companies.
Reporting by Terje Solsvik