PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Japanese liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer INPEX has reportedly announced plans to halt fly-in, fly out (Fifo) operations in both the Northern Territory and Western Australia, requiring its workforce to move to those states by 2023.
INPEX VP of corporate coordination, Bill Townsend, was quoted as saying that the changes would impact some 120 employees.
“Currently, our operations workforce is dispersed throughout Australia. Under the new model, our offshore workforce will be fully based in Western Australia and our onshore operations workforce will reside in the Northern Territory,” he was quoted by the Brisbane Times.
“We realise individual circumstances vary and people need adequate time to consider the new arrangements and to relocate if necessary.”
INPEX produces LNG from its Ichthys project, off the coast of Western Australia, with the gas then sent to its processing facility in Darwin.
The Western Australian Chamber of Minerals and Energy has welcomed the announcement, with director of policy and advocacy Rob Carruthers saying the decision would have important long-term benefits for the Western Australian economy and the communities in which INPEX operates.
“It’s very pleasing to see INPEX join the likes of BHP, Rio Tinto and Woodside by making this commitment to a local workforce model,” Carruthers said.
“With projects such as Ichthys and Bayu-Undan and interests in the Prelude facility and the Van Gogh and Novara oil fields, INPEX is one of the Western Australian oil and gas sector’s major employers.
“To have the employees of INPEX’s offshore facilities, plus their families, living in Western Australia is a potentially significant boost for regional communities and will also deliver meaningful economic outcomes as the State continues its recovery from Covid-19.”