By Rhiannon Hoyle


Chevron has asked Australia's workplace arbiter to intervene to resolve a labor dispute at two giant natural-gas operations after negotiations with union representatives failed and workers began partial strikes at the sites.

The U.S. energy company said Monday that it has filed applications to Australia's Fair Work Commission for so-called intractable bargaining declarations for its Gorgon and Wheatstone downstream facilities. It said it can't see how an agreement will otherwise be reached. Chevron filed an application for its Wheatstone platform a week ago.

Under enhanced powers granted earlier this year, the Fair Work Commission can be asked to intervene in disputes where prolonged talks haven't yielded a resolution.

"Unfortunately, following numerous meetings and conciliation sessions with the Fair Work Commission, no agreement has been reached as the unions are asking for terms significantly above the market," a Chevron Australia spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Offshore Alliance, a partnership of two local unions, has said it wants an agreement that aligns with those in place at energy companies including Shell and Japan's Inpex. Last month, the group reached a preliminary deal with Woodside Energy to avert possible strike action at three offshore liquefied-natural-gas platforms in Australia.

A spokesman for the union coalition said he couldn't immediately comment on Chevron's applications to the commission.

Workers at the Chevron sites on Friday started industrial action, including work bans and short stoppages. A two-week walkout is planned starting Sept. 14.

The labor dispute has rattled global gas markets, pushing prices sharply higher. Australia rivals Qatar as the world's largest exporter of LNG, and the Chevron facilities are among Australia's largest, accounting for about 7% of global LNG supply, according to Wood Mackenzie, a commodities research and consulting company.


Write to Rhiannon Hoyle at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 11, 2023 00:09 ET (04:09 GMT)

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