August 23, 2023 [Reuters]- Chevron Corp’s (CVX.N) Australia unit said on Wednesday it would increase domestic gas production capacity at its Wheatstone project in Western Australia amid concerns of a strike by workers over pay and job security.
Following technical adjustments and plant modifications, the name-plate capacity of the Wheatstone project would rise to 215 terajoules per day from 205 terajoules per day, the company said in a statement.
Unions representing offshore platform workers at Australian liquefied natural gas (LNG) providers have threatened industrial action demanding better wages and work conditions.
Australia is the world’s biggest LNG exporter and Woodside Energy’s (WDS.AX) North West Shelf, along with Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone projects, supply about one-tenth of the global market.
Workers at Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG facilities began voting last week on whether to grant unions permission to call for strike action and the ballot results are due on Thursday and Monday.
Chevron Australia Managing Director Mark Hatfield said the increased production capacity at Wheatstone was a result of plant modifications and subsequent high-rate production trials undertaken over the past year.
“We will continue to explore operational efficiencies and equipment enhancements at Wheatstone that could increase domestic gas capacity even further,” Hatfield added.
Meanwhile, unions at Woodside’s North West Shelf have threatened to strike as early as Sept. 2 if their terms are not met.
About 99% workers there have already backed industrial action, but the unions have not yet called for a strike.
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