26/10/2004 - 22:00

This week in wa – 10 years ago - Life a gas for WA 10 years ago

26/10/2004 - 22:00


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This week in wa – 10 years ago - Life a gas for WA 10 years ago

Gas, and more importantly the money it brought with it, was starting to flow strongly in Western Australia this week 10 years ago.

Department of Resources and Development boffins announced their estimate that demand for natural gas in WA would grow by 75 per cent over the next decade.

They said total use for liquefied natural gas and natural gas would nearly double to 2,800 petajoules a day by mid 2005 on the basis of development now under construction.

With this news ringing in their ears the WAPET consortium was reportedly in the final stages of conceptual engineering for development of the Gorgon gas field about 70 kilometres north west of Barrow Island.

History shows that Chevron Texaco has since taken the running on that project.

Meanwhile, the consortium proposing the Goldfields Gas Transmission pipeline were expected to place orders for $100 million worth of pipe for the 1,400 pipeline linking the Goldfields with the Pilbara.

BHP and Royal Dutch Shell sold their combined 15.8 per cent stake in Woodside to JB Were and Sons (now Goldman Sachs JB Were). BHP was said to have made a $200 million profit on the deal.

As the share deal was being done, the ACTU was taking Woodside workers to the industrial relations commission because three quarters of them voted to dump their union and sign workplace agreements.

Under the workplace agreement workers would receive pay raises of between 10 per cent and 15 per cent.

And in that oil and gas vein, Royal Dutch Shell officially severed its ties with its gold mining venture with its float of Acacia Resources.

Investors pushed the company’s stock from its $2 listing price to $2.38 on the back of trade of 19 million shares.

While gas was hot, red tape was not.

WMC operations director Keith Hulley said up to $4.4 billion of possible resource projects were being strangled by red tape.

Training was posing a problem for the Keating Government, much as the skills shortage is today for the Howard Government. ABS figures showed only 32 per cent of the Australian firms provided formal training to their workers in the survey period despite Government policies aimed at lifting training levels.

Premier and treasurer Richard Court came out with the news everyone had expected – the sale of BankWest was proving harder than the Government had thought. However, he stuck to the September 1995 deadline the Government had set itself.

WA Government officials announced Taiwan Salt Works planned to take a 49 per cent stake in a joint venture to expand Dampier Salt’s pans at Carnarvon.

Valiant Consolidated, meanwhile, joined the ranks of Australian manganese exporters with its first 33,000 tonne shipment leaving Port Hedland for Japan.

The initial shipment was bought by Nippon Steel and another 20,000 tonnes had been pledged to a Middle East producer.

On the sporting front Fremantle Dockers coaching staff were promising to take it easy with Jeff White.

The club’s recruiting consultant (now CEO) Cameron Schwab was predicting White would be the next big thing.


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