The Norwegian government intervened to end a 16-day oil strike Monday night, minutes ahead of a lockout that would have brought about a total shutdown in production.

The strike over pension reforms raised eyebrows after it emerged earlier this year that Norway's oil workers -- paid double the average sector salary of around $175,000 -- might just be the world's richest strikers.

I had to make this decision to protect Norway's vital interests, Labor Minister Hanne Bjurstroem told Reuters.