Chevron: Workers at major Australia gas facilities to strike

  • By Annabelle Liang
  • Business reporter

Image caption,

Chevron Wheatstone plant in Western Australia provides liquefied pure gas to world markets

Workers at two massive liquefied pure gas (LNG) crops in Australia are set to go on strike from 7 September, in a transfer that might drive up world costs.

It follows weeks of negotiations with unions over pay and dealing circumstances.

Chevron, the US power big which operates the positioning, stated it could “continue to take steps to maintain safe and reliable operations in the event of disruption at our facilities”.

Fears of strikes just lately pushed up wholesale gas costs in Europe.

The Wheatstone and Gorgon websites produce greater than 5% of the world’s LNG and about 500 staff are presently employed at the 2 crops in Western Australia.

The industrial motion will see staff down instruments for up to 11 hours a day, in accordance to a strike plan seen by the BBC.

“While we don’t believe that industrial action is necessary for agreement to be reached, we recognise employees have the right to take protected industrial action,” Chevron stated in a press release on Tuesday.

It added that it could “continue to work through the bargaining process as we seek outcomes that are in the interests of both employees and the company.”

The Offshore Alliance – which is a partnership of two unions representing power staff, together with these at Chevron – stated it had been making an attempt to attain an settlement with the corporate on “several key” points together with pay, job safety, rosters and coaching requirements.

It added that staff had been “consistently disappointed with the company’s approach to negotiations with the union and Chevron not accepting that an industry standard agreement should apply to the work they perform for the company”.

Energy analyst Saul Kavonic stated he presently expects the strike to have a restricted influence on world gas costs.

However, he warned that power costs may surge if the commercial motion was stepped up.

“In the very unlikely event of a prolonged large scale supply disruption, prices could head back towards crisis levels witnessed last year,” he added.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine final yr despatched oil and gas costs hovering, main to a pointy rise in power payments for properties and companies.

On Thursday, Woodside stated it had reached an settlement in precept with unions representing staff at its North West Shelf plant.

Together, the Woodside and Chevron crops make up round 10% of the world’s provide of LNG.

Russia slashed provides of pure gas to Europe after the beginning of the Ukraine conflict in 2022.

That pushed up costs world wide and led nations to hunt down various sources of power, comparable to LNG.

Australia is among the world’s largest LNG exporters and its provides have helped to cool world power costs.

LNG is methane, or methane blended with ethane, cleansed of impurities and cooled to roughly -160C.

This turns the gas right into a liquid and it might then be shipped in pressurised tankers.

At its vacation spot, LNG is turned again into gas and used, like another pure gas, for heating, cooking and energy.

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