Gas giant set to slash Darling Downs jobs

ORIGIN Energy staff across the Western Downs are bracing for job cuts as the energy giant tightens its financial belt.

Insiders have told Chinchilla News that staff members were unsure as to what the extent of job cuts would be in the region but it was understood the main impacts would be felt in the company's Brisbane offices.

An Origin spokesman refused to answer a series of Chinchilla News questions in regards to the cuts but issued the following statement.

"As you would expect, we have been planning for some time the move from a project delivery organisation to a lean and efficient operating business," it read.

"By mid-year our work will shift from the heavy construction to the ongoing operation and maintenance of a significantly larger infrastructure base of gas plants and related facilities.

"Staffing levels are reducing as this construction phase of the project comes to its natural conclusion.

"We are currently working through a process that will result in some further contracting staff and employees being advised their role is no longer required.

"Like all companies, we're constantly working to lower our cost base and operate as efficiently as we can.

"These priorities have been brought into sharper focus given the recent fall in oil price."

A company source estimated the job cuts would total "many hundreds" across Origin's Australian operations, with the company also merging its LNG business unit with its upstream oil and gas business.

Origin's main competitors in the Queensland LNG space, QGC and Santos, have already undergone major job-shedding programs.

Origin's Queensland LNG project, Australia Pacific LNG, achieved the milestone of the first delivery of coal seam gas to Curtis Island off Gladstone earlier this month.

APLNG is expected to achieve LNG export by mid-year.

The company employs about 740 workers across the Surat Basin.

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