Workers at two huge liquefied natural gas plants in Australia controlled by US energy behemoth Chevron are poised to go on strike on 7 September, affecting approximately 5% of global LNG volumes and thereby driving up worldwide prices.
This comes after weeks of negotiations over compensation and working conditions between Offshore Alliance members at Chevron’s Western Australian gas installations and other parties inside the firm.
OA members of the US supermajor’s Gorgon project, Wheatstone downstream, and Wheatstone platform facilities voted almost overwhelmingly in favour of more than 20 types of industrial action, including work limitations and total shutdowns.
“The strike will intensify each week until Chevron agrees to our collective bargaining claims.
“The OA Chevron crew will not be intimidated by an outfit that believes it can exploit our resources, rip off Australian taxpayers, and underpay highly skilled oil and gas workers engaged on remote major hazard facilities,” according to the Facebook post.
Chevron’s Gorgon LNG project has a nameplate capacity of 15.6 million tonnes per annum and three trains, while its Wheatstone liquefaction complex has two trains with a total capacity of 8.9 million tpa.
According to the BBC, Chevron stated that it would continue to make efforts to ensure safe and reliable operations in the event that facilities were disrupted.
“While we do not believe that industrial action is required to reach an agreement, we recognize employees’ right to take protected industrial action,” Chevron said in a statement on Tuesday.
It went on to say that it will “continue to work through the bargaining process as we seek outcomes that are in the best interests of both employees and the company.”
The Offshore Alliance, a partnership of two unions representing oil workers, including those at Chevron, said it has been working with the company on “several key” issues, including wage, job security, rosters, and training standards.
It went on to say that workers had been “consistently disappointed with the company’s approach to union negotiations and Chevron’s refusal to accept that an industry standard agreement should apply to the work they perform for the company.”
Australia is one of the world’s largest LNG producers, and its supplies have contributed to lower global energy prices, particularly when Russia cut natural gas supplies to Europe following the start of the Ukraine crisis in early 2022.