Chevron: Workers at major Australia gas facilities to strike

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  • By Annabelle Liang
  • Business reporter

.,

Chevron Wheatstone plant in Western Australia supplies liquefied natural gas to global markets

Workers at two large liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in Australia, operated by US energy giant Chevron, are set to go on strike from 7 September, in a move that could drive up global prices.

This follows weeks of negotiations with unions over pay and working conditions.

Chevron told the BBC it will “continue to take steps to maintain safe and reliable operations in the event of disruption at our facilities”.

The Wheatstone and Gorgon sites produce more than 5% of the world’s LNG.

Fears of strikes recently pushed up wholesale gas prices in Europe.

“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 said in a statement on Tuesday.

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

Energy analyst Saul Kavonic currently expects the strike to have a limited impact on global gas prices.

“We may see work stoppages for short periods of the day, and bans on specific work like helicopter unloadings. These actions create inefficiencies and could lead to minor production disruptions,” he said.

However, Mr Kavonic warned that energy prices could surge if the industrial action is stepped up.

“In the very unlikely event of a prolonged large scale supply disruption, prices could head back towards crisis levels witnessed last year (after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine),” he added.

The Offshore Alliance – which is a partnership of two unions representing energy workers, including those at Chevron – did not immediately respond to a BBC request for comment on the strike plans.

In the last week, wholesale gas prices in Europe jumped on concerns of a disruption to supply at Chevron and another Australian LNG plant, run by Woodside Energy.

On Thursday, Woodside said it had reached an agreement in principle with unions representing workers at its North West Shelf plant.

Together, the Woodside and Chevron plants make up around 10% of the world’s supply of LNG.

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