November 23, 2020

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Japan’s Inpex, Chevron cut jobs in Australia

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© Reuters/TOM WESTBROOK A view of a storage facility for Inpex’s offshore Ichthys project in...



a sign on the side of a building: A view of a storage facility for Inpex's offshore Ichthys project in an industrial park in Darwin


© Reuters/TOM WESTBROOK
A view of a storage facility for Inpex’s offshore Ichthys project in an industrial park in Darwin

By Sonali Paul

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MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Inpex Corp said on Friday it expects to shed jobs at its Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Australia due to the slump in oil prices, but did not say how many would go.

The cuts by Japan’s biggest oil and gas company mark the latest in a swathe of job cuts across the industry in Australia and worldwide in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has decimated fuel demand and battered prices.

“The low oil price environment has accelerated Inpex Australia undertaking a review of its Operations division to support the future Ichthys LNG operating model. The review will impact various roles across the Operations division,” Inpex said in emailed comments.

Inpex operates the $45 billion Ichthys project in Darwin, which shipped its first LNG cargo in 2018. The plant has a capacity of 8.9 million tonnes a year.

“The project continues to maintain smooth and stable production,” the company said.

The cuts were first reported by trade publication Energy News Bulletin.

At the same time, Chevron Corp confirmed on Friday it will be cutting jobs in Australia, part of a worldwide cull of up to 15% of its 45,000 employees, which it flagged in May.

Australia will be hit harder than other locations, with around 20% to 30% of its staff to go, a person familiar with the situation said. Upcoming cuts involve 410 workers.

Chevron’s operations in Australia have been hit this year by an outage at its giant Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, with the plant facing phased shutdowns of each of its three processing units for weld repairs.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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