Chevron LNG workers in Australia allow union to call for strike

(Reuters) - Supplies from Chevron's LNG facilities in major exporter Australia could be disrupted after the last batch of its workers voted to authorize their unions to take industrial action if necessary.

The Gorgon and Wheatstone facilities in Western Australia - along with Woodside Energy Group's projects in the same area - account for one-tenth of global supplies of LNG, of which Australia is the world's largest exporter.

Some 37 workers at the Wheatstone offshore platform on Monday decided in favor of industrial action, according to ballot results seen by Reuters, joining peers at another Wheatstone unit and the Gorgon facility.

The Offshore Alliance (OA), which combines the Maritime Union of Australia and Australian Workers' Union, now has the mandate, but not the obligation, to take industrial action, which could include work stoppages ranging from half an hour to 12 hours.

"All 500 OA members on the 3 Chevron facilities are backing in PIA...PIA notices will be filed shortly," the union alliance said in a Facebook post. PIA is protected industrial action.

The unions must give Chevron seven working days' notice beforehand any action.

Last week, more than 99% of the 450 or so workers at Chevron's Gorgon LNG facility, one of the country's largest, and Wheatstone's downstream processing facility voted to allow unions to call strikes if necessary.

Chevron said it was aware of the result and continued to negotiate with the workers "as we seek outcomes that are in the interests of both employees and the company".

Earlier on Monday the company said it would put in place measures to safeguard supplies.

The potential for industrial action has provided some support for LNG prices. Energy analyst Saul Kavonic said on Friday Chevron could face some "low-level" industrial action but that was unlikely to significantly disrupt supply.

The Chevron dispute comes after Woodside resolved a similar issue at its North West Shelf LNG facility in Western Australia.

Workers at the North West Shelf offshore platforms had voted to approve strike action, but then struck an agreement with the company.

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