WA is on the cusp of a $9 billion-a-year jobs bonanza servicing Australia’s vast LNG projects as an alliance of energy giants bids to make Perth the southern hemisphere’s version of Aberdeen, Doha and Houston.
WA’s Agent General in London, Mike Deeks, has flown to Norway to spearhead the push to get multinational engineering and logistics companies to make Perth their southern headquarters and lock in thousands of high-paying jobs.
Mr Deeks’ bait at the ONS conference in Norway’s energy capital Stavanger, which started yesterday, will be that Australia’s LNG operators have won an exemption under competition laws and will be allowed to co-ordinate their maintenance programs.
Certainty over when shutdowns will occur and what servicing will be required is a major drawcard for engineering companies which will tender for an estimated $9 billion a year in work at Australia’s LNG projects, including WA’s North West Shelf, Gorgon, Wheatstone, Pluto and the soon-to-be commissioned Prelude platform.
The WA Government hopes this locked-in pipeline of work will encourage the likes of Halliburton, Schlumberger and WorleyParsons to base themselves in Perth and employ local specialist workers who could earn average annual salaries of $200,000.
The jobs push will be led by an LNG task force of Premier Mark McGowan, UnionsWA secretary Meredith Hammat and senior representatives from Chevron, Woodside, Santos, Shell and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.
“We are the gorilla when it comes to this industry,” Mr McGowan said. “It’s a coup to get all of these companies in the same room. They want to have a long future here, a successful future here. Working together on this sort of thing is what we should be doing.”
Mr McGowan said Perth had advantages over the world’s established energy capitals.