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Chevron Continues Australian LNG Exports Despite Plant Fault And Strikes

Chevron’s two LNG facilities continue to export cargoes despite the escalated strikes and a fault at one of the plants that shut down 25% of LNG production, Reuters reported on Friday, citing vessel-tracking data from LSEG Eikon and Kpler.

A tanker loaded LNG at the Wheatstone export facility on Thursday and is bound for Japan, while another tanker loaded a cargo for China at the Gorgon plant on the same day, according to the shipping data.

On Thursday, LNG production at Wheatstone was reduced by 25% after a fault, the day on which trade unions escalated their strikes at the plant and the other Chevron LNG facility, Gorgon.

The fault at the Australian plant coincided with the escalation of the strikes at the Chevron facilities which collectively account for 5% of global LNG supply.

The workers have stepped up their industrial action that began earlier this week, and plan further escalations in the coming weeks.

While the unions representing the workers have not specified how many hours every day the workers at Gorgon and Wheatstone would strike, Chevron said that it had been notified of rolling 24-hour work stoppages beginning in the early morning on Thursday, Bloomberg reports.

No change in the situation for the better is likely at least until September 22, when a labor market regulator will hear the dispute after Chevron reached out to it in an effort to force the workers to settle.

The supermajor is seeking to get a so-called “intractable bargaining” declaration from the Fair Work Commission, meaning the FWC could force workers to agree to terms proposed by Chevron.

Despite the escalation of the strikes and the shutdown of 25% of Wheatstone’s LNG production, Europe’s front-month benchmark natural gas futures settled 3.7% lower on Thursday, as currently weak gas demand outweighs supply issues, including longer-than-planned maintenance at some of Norway’s gas infrastructure.

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