QGC has shed about a quarter of its staff from its Brisbane headquarters as its flagship project shifts from the peak construction phase and its parent company BG Group seeks to manage costs more prudently.

QGC said in March it would be reducing the number of its staff in the next few weeks, primarily reflecting the planned and progressive shift from construction of the Queensland Curtis LNG Project to commissioning and operations and also the need to manage costs across BG Group.

The company, which is leading the development of the US$20.4 billion QCLNG project, confirmed the majority of staff set to be impacted were short-term contractors. “All have supported QCLNG through peak construction,” QGC said. “Most of these roles are in Brisbane and a small minority in the Surat Basin.”

A QGC spokesman told Oil & Gas Australia that about 300 people would be made redundant, taking the company’s headcount in Brisbane from 1200 to roughly 900.

While the cuts come as the QCLNG project shift from its peak construction phase to commissioning in preparation for first gas in the final quarter of 2014, QGC said it still had a big role to play in job creation.

“QGC will remain one of the biggest employers in Brisbane and the Surat Basin,” the company said. “Our latest Australian Industry Participation Report showed that more than 14,000 people work on our Queensland Curtis LNG Project and this number will also progressively decline.”

News of the job cuts here in Australia were revealed when The Times reported that BG Group was also axing staff at its UK head office, citing falling output in Egypt and lower gas prices.

In BG’s full year results for 2013, the company posted a non-cash impairment of $2.4 billion in Egypt and the US.
The company expects planned capital expenditure to decline in 2014 and fall to between $8-$10 billion in 2015 and 2016.

With LNG exports from QCLNG on target before year end, BG Group is confident of being cash flow positive in 2015.
QCLNG, which has been under construction since 2010, will be the first of the three committed CSG-LNG projects on Curtis Island to come on stream.

The two LNG production units should delivery production capacity of more than 8.5 million tonnes per annum.