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Just two weeks after workers at Chevron’s two Australian LNG projects ended industrial action, they are preparing for another round of strikes.
Up to 500 employees at the Gorgon and Wheatstone projects could walk off next week Argus has reported, citing a notice of intent that Chevron had confirmed receiving.
The new threat comes after the union representing the workers claimed Chevron had reneged on promises to abide by recommendations made by the Fair Work Commission. Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Chevron had asked Australia’s Fair Work Commission to help resolve the last remaining differences that prevented the parties from striking a deal.
Per Argus, the differences concern allowances, accommodation, flights for training, and cabin-sharing on the gas production platforms.
“We don’t believe that industrial action is necessary, given we are seeking the assistance of the Fair Work Commission to resolve the small number of outstanding items between the parties,” a spokesperson for Chevron said, as quoted by Reuters.
"We will continue to take steps to maintain safe and reliable operations in the event of disruption at our facilities,” the Chevron spokesperson also said.
The company said it had already drafted an in-principle agreement and was committed to resolving any remaining differences.
The Gorgon project has a capacity of 15.6 million tons of liquefied natural gas annually, while the Wheatstone facility can produce 8.9 million tons annually. Together, the two account for over 5% of global LNG production capacity, and any disruption or even the suggestion of disruption of supply immediately affects global LNG prices.
A third Australian LNG project was also under threat of industrial action in August but its operator, Woodside Energy, managed to negotiate a deal with the Offshore Alliance. The North West Shelf is the largest LNG production facility in the country, with a capacity of 16.9 million tons of liquefied gas annually.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.