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Woodside partners with maritime superpowers

LNG Woodside

The global energy company has partnered with Maritime Union of Australia, the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers and the Australian Maritime Officers Union on the Australian crewing of an LNG vessel to maintain operations at the North West Shelf Project and Pluto LNG Project.

Woodside Energy has reached agreement with the three Australian maritime unions on the Australian crewing of an LNG vessel, building on a cooperative relationship that dates back to the commencement of LNG exports from the North West Shelf Project in the 1980s.

Under the agreement, the maritime unions will cooperate fully with Woodside and its contractors in maintaining maritime operations at Woodside’s operated North West Shelf Project and Pluto LNG Project.

Woodside chief executive officer Meg O’Neill said the agreement would support the security of supply that underpins Woodside’s reputation globally as a reliable supplier of LNG, while also providing employment opportunities for Australian-based seafarers.

“This agreement reflects our shared interest with unions in ensuring continued opportunities for employment across all aspects of the LNG industry, including shipping, and recognises the Australian Government’s interest in strengthening maritime supply chains,” she said.

The agreement with the Construction, Forestry and Maritime Employees Union – Maritime Union of Australia Division, the Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers, and the Australian Maritime Officers Union preserves a role for Australian-resident seafarers in the maritime industry delivering LNG to customers across Asia.

“LNG shipping has provided many Australian seafarers with rewarding and fulfilling employment, working in the national economic and strategic interest of all Australians, for many decades,” Maritime Union of Australia national secretary Paddy Crumlin said.

“The skills and employment base that the LNG trade provides the industry cannot be understated, and we look forward to building on this and offering more Australian workers the chance to pursue a life at sea.”

The continued investment in the development of strategic maritime skills covers the period from April 2024 to the end of March 2029 and sets a path for a more enduring relationship, subject to Woodside’s aspirations to grow its LNG operations in Australia being realised.

The Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers federal president Martin Byrne welcomed the agreement and said the parties have also agreed to hold further discussions in good faith with an intent to explore expanding the agreement across future marine operations.

“This is an agreement which lays the foundation for long-term future cooperation in the offshore maritime sector,” he said.

The Australian Maritime Officers Union executive officer Mark Davis concurred in saying that the continuity of employment for highly skilled and experienced LNG ships’ officers would benefit all parties to the new arrangement and the opportunity for new trainees to gain international gas ship experience will be invaluable.

The agreement will support employment of around 70 Australian-resident seafarers on an LNG carrier within Woodside’s chartered fleet.

The crew will be employed by the vessel’s contracted Crew Manager, ASP Ship Management Pty Ltd, based in Melbourne.

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