High labor costs threaten Australian gas exports

May 28, 2013 at 12:41 AM

SYDNEY, May 28 (UPI) -- High labor costs and environmental legislation threaten Australian natural gas exports to surging Asian markets, officials said.

McKinsey and Co. has published new research warning that those factors put at risk Australia's participation in a $100 billion surge in the global resource market, with the country losing a "crucial" pricing advantage when shipping liquefied natural gas to lucrative East Asian markets, including Japan and South Korea.

Energy company executives are accordingly intensifying their pressure for federal and state reform to lighten the cost of doing business, issuing stark warnings warning that Australia faces a narrow "window of opportunity" to participate in an upcoming series of energy projects, The Australian reported.

Shell Australia country manager Ann Pickard defined the "window" at 18 months and Chevron Australia Managing Director Roy Krzywosinski has called for "significant national leadership" to lift productivity and improve industrial labor relations.

Nearly $200 billion in LNG projects are under construction in Australia but energy company executives have repeatedly complained about cost increases.

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