Faced with discontent brewing among its offshore workers, Statoil has reversed its decision to stop providing coffee at the helicopter terminals they pass through on their way to and from the oil fields. In return, though, the large oil company is removing bowls of peanuts from the lunch tables on the Oseberg platform.
Statoil has had to tolerate a lot of joking since the unpopular coffee cuts were first reported by newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad. Even the mayor of Stavanger joked about it at a large company event on Wednesday, at which she said she planned to drink a lot of coffee while it was still being offered for free.
Statoil chief executive Helge Lund felt compelled to comment on the now-reversed coffee cut, telling newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) that it was important for the company to see where it was possible to cut costs and operate more effectively. Arne Sigve Nylund, Statoil director for the Norwegian Continental Shelf, claimed the coffee cuts were blown out of proportion.
Per Steinar Stamnes, who represents Statoil’s offshore workers, disagreed, saying the coffee cuts “sent the wrong signal” to workers. He’s glad the coffee will still flow but said that now the peanuts have disappeared on the Oseberg platform. He thinks Statoil should rather pay attention to motivating employees, reducing bureaucracy and better organizing work schedules.