A number of Karratha families could be moving to Perth after Woodside confirmed that it expects to reduce the number of staff working at its Pluto LNG processing plant in the coming year and a half.
Woodside told employees at a meeting on Friday September 6 that is was developing a “new organisational model for its Pluto LNG operations” on the Burrup Peninsula.
The company would not confirm how many employees will be affected, but it is likely some will be relocated into FIFO roles.
“It is expected there will be some reduction in the number of site-based staff at Pluto LNG as a result of implementing a new organisational model,” a Woodside spokesperson told the Pilbara Echo.
“Woodside’s aim is to retain all our employees during this organisational change in either ongoing Pluto LNG roles, or alternative Woodside opportunities.
“This will include a mix of residential and FIFO positions.”
The company said the review of staff levels at Pluto LNG was a result of the project’s transition from a construction phase into a steady operational phase.
Pluto shipped its first LNG cargo in early 2012 and generated $1.164bn in revenue for Woodside over the remaining eight months of the year.
Woodside, through its Pluto and the nearby North West Shelf joint venture onshore processing plant, is also a major employer within the Shire of Roebourne.
Under an A$34m Pluto LNG Conservation Agreement with the Australian Government, Woodside also sponsors community projects in the Pilbara, including a partnership to develop Indigenous rangers for
the Murujuga National Park.
However, Woodside recently announced that it favours moving toward an offshore gas processing system as it looks to develop the Browse gas fields north of Broome with its joint venture partners.
The company did not confirm whether or not its “new organisational model” was related to restructuring ahead of potential future floating LNG operations.
Woodside employees who may be affected by these changes did not want to be quoted for this story but said the company has been open in its dealings with staff.
The Woodside spokesperson said the Pluto staff restructuring will take place in phases and is expected to be completed by 2015.
“Woodside will continue to maintain a significant residential workforce to support its operations in the Shire of Roebourne,” the company spokesperson said.