WA oil and gas job losses loom, Woodside confirms cuts

25th March 2015 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

WA oil and gas job losses loom, Woodside confirms cuts

Photo by: Reuters

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Australian oil and gas major Woodside on Wednesday confirmed that it would cut about 300 staff from its payroll, while reports emerged that US major Chevron was mulling the halving of its 4 000-strong Western Australian workforce.

Reports suggested that Chevron had informed its staff to prepare for the Wheatstone and Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects to move from the construction phase, to the production phase, meaning that less employees would be needed at both sites.

Wheatstone is located 12 km west of Onslow and would consist of two LNG trains with a combined capacity of 8.9-million tonnes a year, along with a domestic gas plant.

The project was about 49% completed, and first LNG from Wheatstone was expected in late 2016.

The $52-billion Gorgon project includes the construction of a three-train 15.6-million-tonne-a-year LNG plant on Barrow Island with the capacity to supply 275-million standard cubic feet a day of natural gas to the Western Australian market.

The project was more than 90% complete and first gas from the system was planned for mid-2015.

Chevron was unavailable for comment on Wednesday.

Woodside on Wednesday confirmed that the company would reduce staff numbers in an effort to curb the impact of the lower commodity markets.

“Woodside has completed a business review to address the impact of the downturn in the commodities market. The outcome is that about 300 roles will be made redundant,” a spokesperson for the company told Mining Weekly Online.

He noted that a pay freeze has also been announced.

In January, Woodside flagged a review of the impact of the lower oil price on its near-term profitability and future cash flows, with the miner saying that it would revise its investment expenditure.

Woodside has predicted that it would produce between 84-million and 91-million barrels of oil equivalent during 2015, with some 38% of production coming from the Pluto LNG project, a further 26% from the North West Shelf LNG project, 15% from the North West Shelf domestic gas unit and a further 21% from condensate, oil and liquefied petroleum gas.