By: Reuters – Chevron (CVX.N) said on Monday that 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.
Wheatstone and the nearby Gorgon facility account for over 5% of global LNG supply, and the fault and the strikes did not affect scheduled deliveries, Chevron said, with shipping data on LSEG Eikon also showing exports from Wheatstone were unaffected.
“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.”
Tanker Asia Excellence loaded an LNG cargo over the weekend at Wheatstone and is now headed to Japan, while Tanker Maran Gas Psara is now loading at Gorgon, the LSEG Eikon data showed.
Chevron had said it would maintain supplies from the major LNG terminal in the face of disruptions, which intensified over the weekend as workers escalated their strike action to 24-hour stoppages from brief halts and limited bans on certain tasks.
The strikes were set to run until the end of this month but the Offshore Alliance, a coalition of two unions, on Saturday flagged their intention to extend the industrial action.
Chevron said on Monday it had received from the union notices of work stoppages until Oct. 14.
Chevron and unions were scheduled to hold further talks mediated by the Fair Work Commission on Monday and Tuesday, according to a union representative who declined to be named and was doubtful of a positive result.
Five days of similar talks earlier in the month ended without a deal.
On Friday, Australia’s industrial tribunal, the Fair Work Commission, will hear from Chevron and the unions in a bid to resolve the dispute over wages and conditions and is expected to deliver its ruling soon after.
Australia is currently the world’s biggest exporter of super-chilled fuel, and China and Japan are its top two customers, followed by South Korea and Taiwan.
Wheatstone has an export capacity of 8.9 million tonnes a year and Gorgon has an export capacity of 15.6 million tonnes a year.