Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Shell casts net wide for Prelude staff

The Sydney Morning Herald

Rebecca Le May: September 7, 2010


Royal Dutch Shell says it will look to non-traditional sources for labour for its Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) project off Western Australia.

The move comes amid expectations Chevron’s massive Gorgon LNG project will hog skilled workers.

The Prelude field, some 475km north-northeast of Broome, is set to be the world’s first floating LNG development when it begins production in 2016.

Shell executive vice-president of Upstream Australia, Ann Pickard, says the energy giant expects to make a final investment decision to proceed with Prelude in the next few months.

Gorgon, which is 25 per cent held by Shell, is expected to start production in 2014 and create 10,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities at peak construction.

Ms Pickard told a business briefing in Perth on Tuesday that Shell would cast a wide net to find staff for the Prelude development.

“I see Roy (Krzywosinski, managing director of Chevron Australia) and my good friends from Chevron were at one of our refineries the other day recruiting for Gorgon,” Ms Pickard joked during the presentation.

“Gorgon is running a couple of years ahead of us, so I think they’ll get a (processing) train up and we’ll get them back.

“While we’re competitors, we’re also colleagues … and I think that is a really good challenge.

“We will be going into Australia to non-traditional (sources), say the mines and refining industries and the other trades, to look for operators.”

She said Shell would over the next five years send 200 people to LNG plants around the world, along with deepwater plants and marine institutions to gain the necessary skills.

Ms Pickard said Australia was poised to take the lead with new generation oil and gas developments, but it wasn’t as stable a jurisdiction as perceived by some.

“The stars may have aligned for Australia,” she said.

“The gas was discovered decades ago but the combination of one, the technology and two, the market being available, have come together to provide the opportunity for Australia to move into the forefront.”

But Australia’s gas renaissance may not happen if “above-ground risks” like tax regime changes scare off the industry.

Ms Pickard said Nigeria, one of Shell’s prime investment destinations, tried to introduce a new tax code and lost about $100 billion worth of oil and gas investment over the past five years.

She said “above-ground risks” in WA included petroleum retention licence issues, unions and changing fiscal regimes.

However, customers would queue up for Australian gas to diversify their gas sources from the other two majors suppliers, the Middle East and Russia.

“They like to not have all their eggs in one basket.”

Ms Pickard also made an offhand comment that Shell was not preparing to take over LNG-focused Woodside Petroleum Ltd, which is 34 per cent held by the Dutch company.

“We are not getting ready to buy it again,” she said.

Shell failed to gain control of Woodside in 2001 when the Australian government blocked the move, citing national interest issues.

Recent media reports speculated that Shell and BHP Billiton Ltd were preparing a joint bid for Woodside last year.

� 2010 AAP


This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.