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Chevron and Labor Unions Reach Resolution to Conclude Gas Strikes in Western Australia

 


Chevron, a major energy company, has reached an agreement with labor unions to put an end to the strikes that have been ongoing at two significant liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Australia. The workers have accepted a proposed deal presented by the country's labor regulator, according to the Offshore Alliance, a coalition of two unions. As a result, the current industrial action has been halted.

These strikes, which revolved around issues related to pay and working conditions, had been occurring at the Gorgon and Wheatstone facilities since September 8. Brad Gandy, a spokesperson for the Offshore Alliance, announced that members had endorsed the latest offer, which includes recommendations from the Fair Work Commission, Australia's industrial arbitrator. The Offshore Alliance will collaborate with Chevron to finalize the agreement's drafting, and members will soon cease their current industrial actions.

A Chevron Australia spokesperson informed the BBC that this agreement effectively resolves the outstanding issues that had persisted following conciliation sessions earlier in the week. Chevron's Gorgon and Wheatstone plants in Western Australia are responsible for more than 5% of global LNG capacity.

This labor dispute had sparked concerns in LNG markets due to worries that these walkouts could impact global gas supplies. The world's energy markets have faced significant strain since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in the previous year, leading to surging oil and gas prices and resulting in higher energy costs for households and businesses. Additionally, the Kremlin had reduced natural gas supplies to Europe, prompting countries to seek alternative energy sources, with many turning to LNG.

Australia, alongside Qatar and the United States, is among the world's largest LNG exporters, and its supplies have played a role in stabilizing global energy prices. The impact of these labor disruptions on the global markets underscores the fragility of the international gas system, which has been stretched to its limits, as noted by energy industry expert Saul Kavonic. LNG is essentially purified methane or methane mixed with ethane, cooled to extremely low temperatures to become a liquid, which can then be transported in pressurized tankers and converted back into gas for various uses upon arrival at its destination, such as heating, cooking, and power generation.

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