Operations Staff in Focus as Australia Advances LNG Projects

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Demand for operations staff in Australia is poised to rise as several liquefied natural gas projects move from construction to operations in the next few years.

As Australia gears up to overtake Qatar as the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, the petroleum industry is increasingly focused on ensuring that the necessary manpower is available to operate gas facilities.

All seven LNG projects, currently under development in Australia, will come on stream by 2018. Three of these projects are onshore, with Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) expected to be the first to commence production this year followed by Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) and Gladstone LNG (GLNG) next year. Gorgon will be the first offshore LNG development to begin operations in 2015 and Wheatstone is scheduled to follow in 2016. Two more offshore projects – Ichthys and Prelude – are targeted to come into production in 2017.

Search for Operations Staff

Demand for operations staff is expected to rise as these LNG projects near production. Employment growth in the “Oil and Gas Operations” sector is forecast to expand 9.4 percent annually from 2014 to 2018, according to the “Resources Sector Skill Needs 2013” report released in December 2013 by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA).

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Hiring of operations staff is likely to increase 57 percent from 38,943 workers in 2013 to 61,212 in 2018, the AWPA highlighted, as the transition to LNG operations will increase demand for high-level, specialist operators, including roles that require relevant experience.

“It will be difficult to source many of these [operations] skills domestically. Rapid growth will also stretch experienced supervisory capability, which could affect productivity and safety,” AWPA commented.


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