Chevron Australia says full production resumes at strike-hit Wheatstone LNG plant

A general view of Chevron's Wheatstone LNG facility

A general view of Chevron’s Wheatstone LNG facility in Pilbara coast, Western Australia, as seen in this undated handout image obtained by Reuters on September 8, 2023. Chevron/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

SYDNEY, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Chevron (CVX.N) said on Monday full production had resumed at its strike-hit Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Western Australia after a fault last week cut production by about one-fifth.

Workers began 24-hour strikes over the weekend at Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG facilities, which account for over 5% of global supply, escalating what had been six days of brief work stoppages and limited bans on certain tasks.

Strikes would be most effective during outages as restarting equipment requires more workers, according to analysts. But shipping data on LSEG Eikon and Kpler showed Wheatstone continued LNG exports on Friday despite the fault and strikes.

“During (the fault), LNG continued to be produced at approximately 80% of usual rates, and vessel loading continued,” a Chevron spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“There has been no change to scheduled LNG deliveries. Domestic gas facilities and supply were unaffected.”

Chevron has asked Australia’s industrial tribunal, the Fair Work Commission, to intervene in the ongoing dispute over wages and conditions in a bid to cancel the strikes. The commission will hold a hearing on Friday.

The strikes were set to run until the end of this month but the Offshore Alliance union, a coalition of two unions, on Saturday flagged they intend to file a notice with Chevron to extend their work stoppage plans.

A union official with direct knowledge of the matter said on Monday that workers planned to extend industrial action for another two weeks until the middle of October.

The representative, who declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media, said the union had filed the extension notice to Chevron on Sunday. Mediation talks could happen on Monday and Tuesday, the official said.

The U.S. energy major has previously said it would not provide ongoing comments on the strikes but would take steps to maintain operations if disruptions occur.

Reporting by Renju Jose and Lewis Jackson in Sydney; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Lincoln Feast.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Reports on breaking news in Australia and New Zealand covering the biggest stories across politics, companies and commodities. Previously wrote about equities at Morningstar.

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2023-09-18 01:13:30

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