Exports from Shell’s floating LNG (FLNG) unit Prelude have been halted again, this time in a pay row.

Stoppages have been occurring since 10 June, but now there will be no cargoes loaded from the vessel until 21 July, as industrial action was extended.

The unit is located off north-western Australia.

Shell has stopped production and started sending workers home from Monday night.

Strikes were affecting the company’s ability to moor LNG carriers at the unit, a Shell spokeswoman told Reuters.

The energy major sent customers an “inability to supply notice for all future cargoes, due to inability to complete offtakes following increased impacts related to the ongoing Protected Industrial Action (PIA),” she said.

The last cargo left at the weekend, after the company stepped up output to 95% of capacity last week as workers downscaled their industrial action.

Output had been reduced sharply in June to match storage capacity at the site as shipments were disrupted due to earlier strike action.

On Monday, workers rejected the company’s latest pay offer, with 95% opposed.

This is according to the Offshore Alliance, which combines the Maritime Union of Australia and Australian Workers’ Union.

It urged the company to negotiate with the union.

‘Hyper-aggressive’ tactics

“This situation could actually be resolved very easily if management simply drops its strange, hyper-aggressive industrial relations tactics,” Offshore Alliance coordinator Zach Duncalfe said in a statement.

In April, an LNG carrier has signalled it would arrive at Prelude as the floater prepared to export a first cargo after four months of shutdown enforced by regulators.

The unit is able to produce 3.6m tonnes per year, but stopped exports following a fire on 2 December.

That incident was the second major shutdown for Prelude, which was offline for 11 months in 2020 after an electrical trip led to a series of extensive investigations and repairs.

Prelude exported its first cargo in June 2019.

The April restart came as global buyers sought LNG volumes to reduce their dependency on Russian natural gas supply, in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.