Woodside reaches deal with unions to avoid NWS LNG strike

Australian LNG producer Woodside and unions representing its workers at North West Shelf offshore gas platforms have reached an in-principle agreement.

Earlier this month, Woodside and Chevron said they were in talks with unions as they worked to avoid strikes that could affect operations at the North West Shelf, Gorgon, and Wheatstone LNG projects in Western Australia.

These three projects have a combined capacity of about 40.8 million tonnes of LNG per year, or some 10 percent of the global LNG imports in 2022.

Most of the LNG supplies from these plants are landing in Japan and South Korea.

Woodside’s workers at North West Shelf offshore gas platforms voted on Sunday to take industrial action, giving Woodside seven working days’ notice to strike if their bargaining claims are not met.

“Woodside continues to engage actively and constructively in the bargaining process,” a Woodside spokesperson told LNG Prime late on Wednesday.

“Substantial progress was made at talks held on Wednesday and the parties have reached in-principle agreement on a number of issues that are key to the workforce,” the spokesperson said.

Also, the spokesperson added that Woodside has not received any notices of protected industrial action.

Australian LNG player Woodside operates the North West Shelf LNG terminal in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The plant has five LNG trains, launched between 1989 and 2008, with a capacity of 16.9 million tonnes per year and most of these volumes supply customers in Japan. It also has domestic gas trains, condensate stabilization units, and LPG units.

Australia’s oldest LNG plant has been liquefying gas from fields located off the north-west coast of Australia since 1989.

The project includes the North Rankin complex, the Goodwyn A platform, and also the Angel platform.

Workers to review settlement

The Offshore Alliance, which includes the Maritime Union of Australia and Australian Workers’ Union, said on Thursday via its social media that it has reached an in-principle agreement with Woodside on an enterprise agreement to cover the GWA, NRC, and Angel platforms.

Moreover, the alliance said said that its representatives have endorsed the in-principle agreement reached with Woodside and “members will be meeting this evening to go through the offer of settlement.”

Details of the settlement will be released after the meeting with members.

“The union has committed to not filing a notice of protected industrial action, with the final drafting of the agreement being provided by Woodside for review by the union lawyers on Monday, it said.

The Woodside spokesperson said on Thursday that the company welcomes the “union’s reported statement this morning and will continue to work to finalize an agreement.”

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