The potential Arrow LNG site on Curtis Island, Gladstone.
The potential Arrow LNG site on Curtis Island, Gladstone. Mike Richards

Arrow job cuts put $17b Curtis Island gas project in doubt

ARROW Energy has been slashing staff, prompting new fears its $17billion LNG project approved for Curtis Island won't go ahead.

But the company and its multinational owners are staying mum on the project - and the 4000-plus construction and operation jobs it would mean for the region.

And it's still unclear when the Gladstone community will find out if the project goes ahead.

Emails obtained by News Ltd reveal the company's Brisbane workforce has been downsized.

The Observer understands staff cuts have been under way for some months.

Gas skills shortage looms in Gladstone as industry changes

That's despite the Federal Environment Minister giving the final tick of approval to the four-train processing plant just weeks ago.

The project would deliver the fourth LNG plant for Curtis Island.

While a final investment decision had been slated for the start of 2014, Arrow owners Shell and PetroChina moved away from that timeframe earlier this year.

Shell spokesman Paul Zennaro wouldn't comment on investment speculation, but said it was up to Arrow to present a case for the project to shareholders.

A spokesman for Arrow Energy said the project was not "schedule driven".

"Arrow is focused on building more value into the Arrow LNG project proposal," he said.

"As part of our drive to find more value and cost efficiencies in the current high cost environment, we need to be prudent about our current expenditure.

"Final investment, timing and collaboration are matters for Arrow's shareholders."

The Curtis Island LNG workforce is currently at its peak of about 10,500. That's expected to last for a further six months before the construction downturn begins.


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