By HARRY CLARKE

A MASS redundancy program at Shell QGC dubbed internally as “Project Brigalow” has commenced, with about 180 jobs to go from the company’s Queensland operation alone.

Oil and gas giant Shell announced last year up to 9,000 jobs would be made redundant globally under a major company restructure actioned in response to diving international oil prices.

Until now it’s been unclear exactly how Shell’s QGC (Queensland Gas Company) operation would be affected, but The Caller has been told the number of redundancies was 181 statewide.

More redundancies are expected interstate, including from Shell’s sizeable offshore drilling operation based in Perth.

A Shell spokesperson said the company was still working through the restructure program and wouldn’t know the exact number of total job losses until about August.

“Shell is undergoing and implementing a strategic review of the organisation, which intends to ensure we are set up to thrive throughout the energy transition and be a simpler organisation,” the spokesperson said.

“As indicated last year, because of the efficiencies we expect to gain we will reduce between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs globally by the end of 2022. We are on track with that process.

“The uncertainty caused by the current macro conditions is expected to persist for some time, and financial resilience is fundamental to our ability to sustainably weather those pressures.

“Any decisions that impact people are not ones we take lightly, and we will be engaging closely with our workforce throughout this process to ensure people are supported through the transition.”

It’s understood many of the job losses will come from Shell’s head office in Brisbane, and that where possible employees will be redeployed to other parts of the business and to new jobs created under the restructure.

The remainder will come predominantly from gas fields in the Surat Basin and from Shell’s export facilities at Curtis Island off Gladstone.

It’s understood that part of Shell’s restructure relates to the company’s goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, which is involving a shift toward renewable energy projects.

Earlier this month The Caller reported on a major hurdle at Shell’s Gangarri Solar farm near Wandoan, where 230 workers were sacked from a labor hire company by text message due to a payment dispute with project’s main contractor. Three weeks on, the dispute remains unresolved.

Shell last week published its 2021 LNG Outlook which found demand for gas had remained resilient despite the pandemic-induced global economic downturn.

It found that despite the downturn, China increased its gas imports by 11 percent last year while demand in India remained strong.

Gas prices hit a record low in April 2020 but have since rebounded to a six-year high, the 2021 LNG Outlook said.

Shell QGC’s Surat Basin headquarters in Chinchilla

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