This story was originally published in The West Australian on 28 June 2018 with the headline "Chevron set to axe 400 jobs." © Peter Milne.
Chevron is preparing to shed about 400 employees from its WA business, just months after approving a new construction project and backing an LNG jobs initiative.
WestBusiness understands the operator of the Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG projects told senior staff in Perth of the planned lay-offs this week. The job losses will occur over the next 12 months and affect about 15 per cent of the workforce.
It is understood Boston Consulting Group is conducting a so-called value chain alignment study to review the roles required to support Chevron’s LNG operations.
The high-powered international firm has had up to 30 consultants scouring Chevron’s Australian operations over the past 18 months with the total cost approaching $30 million.
Chevron would not confirm the number of job losses. A spokeswoman said the company was moving from building projects to operating them and expected a reduction in staff numbers given the change in business activities.
“As we transition the business. . . we continually review and align our business needs to have the right skills and competencies in place to meet our future requirements,” she said.
Chevron approved in April stage two of the Gorgon project — additional offshore wells and pipelines to keep sufficient gas flowing to the Pilbara’s Barrow Island — expected to cost US$4 billion. The jobs news comes three months after Premier Mark McGowan launched an LNG jobs taskforce that aimed to build on the State’s existing LNG industry to create more long-term local jobs.
At the time, Chevron Australia managing director Nigel Hearne welcomed the move and said it was the LNG industry’s obligation to strengthen local capability and unlock jobs.
The US oil and gas major is nearing the end of 10 years of construction to build the two plants in WA at the cost of $119 billion.
The spokeswoman said Chevron had spent more than $60 billion on goods and services in Australia during the past seven years.
The second train of the $US$34 billion Wheatstone LNG project near Onslow commenced production two weeks ago.
Start-up of Wheatstone’s domestic gas plant, scheduled by the end of this year, will bring Chevron’s initial construction marathon to an end.