An impending strike by Chevron’s Australian gas facility employees is anticipated.

An impending strike by Chevron’s Australian gas facility employees is anticipated.

Workers at two major liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Australia are preparing to initiate a strike beginning on September 7th. This action, centred around disputes regarding compensation and work conditions, could have far-reaching implications for the worldwide cost of gas. Chevron, the American energy conglomerate overseeing operations at these plants, has expressed its commitment to upholding safe and dependable operations even in the face of potential disruptions. This announcement comes after a series of negotiations between Chevron and union representatives. These negotiations have revolved around a range of significant issues, including wages, job security, scheduling, and training criteria.

The two affected sites, Wheatstone and Gorgon, collectively produce over 5% of the globe’s LNG output. These facilities, located in Western Australia, are responsible for employing approximately 500 personnel. Chevron, while emphasising its belief that industrial action can be avoided, acknowledges the right of workers to undertake protected strikes as a means of pushing for their demands.

Experts in the energy sector, such as analyst Saul Kavonic, anticipate a relatively contained influence of the strike on worldwide gas prices initially. However, there is an underlying concern that escalating industrial action could trigger a surge in energy costs. This worry stems from the potential for a sustained, large-scale supply interruption to significantly impact prices, potentially mirroring the crisis levels seen the previous year.

Furthermore, Samantha Dart, a senior energy analyst at Goldman Sachs, emphasised the critical role that Australian LNG facilities play in the Asian energy supply chain. When demand in Asia surpasses available LNG, competition for supply escalates, leading to the redirection of shipments from Europe to Asia.

Chevron’s facilities, combined with another Australian LNG plant operated by Woodside Energy, make up around 10% of the global LNG supply. The potential disruption of these plants, along with the resultant price surges, has driven countries to seek alternative energy solutions. Australia’s substantial LNG exports have contributed to stabilising global energy costs. This liquefied natural gas is derived from methane or a mixture of methane and ethane, meticulously purified and cooled to transform into a liquid. This liquid form can then be transported in pressurised tankers, ultimately being reconverted to gas for various purposes like heating, cooking, and power generation.


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