Chevron Australia, Unions Make Progress in LNG Talks, Deal Remains Elusive

(Reuters) — Negotiations over a stalled pay and conditions deal between Chevron and unions at its LNG facilities in Australia made progress on Friday but fell short of sealing an agreement to end months of labor disputes at the major export sites.

Chevron and the unions held a third day of talks before Australia's industrial arbitrator, the Fair Work Commission (FWC), on Friday, but a "couple" of sticking points remain, according to a union official involved in the talks who declined to be named.

The representative did not give any details, but said further talks are planned for Monday.

Chevron did not immediately respond to a request for comment but has previously said there are only a small number of issues in the way of a final deal, including reimbursement for travel and meals, adding that it is committed to reaching a deal.

Friday's talks are the second round being mediated by the FWC within the past month.

The unions halted weeks of strikes in late September at the facilities that supply around 6% of the world's LNG after an earlier round of talks produced a deal.

Weeks later, however, the unions accused Chevron of reneging on certain commitments and said they would resume strikes on Oct. 19.

In Europe the Benchmark front-month Dutch gas contract was up 0.91 euro on Friday morning at 54.20 euros/MWh with the lack of a deal adding to the bullishness caused by geopolitical tensions and the incoming northern hemisphere winter.


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