Esso HQ move may result in some jobs returning

Some jobs may return to the local area when ExxonMobil moves its headquarters from Southbank to Docklands in Melbourne.

Some jobs may return to the local area when ExxonMobil moves its headquarters from Southbank to Docklands in Melbourne.

ESSO'S headquarters will move from Southbank to Docklands, with hopes some jobs will return to Longford.

ExxonMobil Australia confirmed it had signed an agreement for lease for office space at 664 Collins St, Docklands.

With the new premises are currently under construction, an Esso spokesperson said its headquarters would remain at Southbank in the interim, until the new building was completed in the second quarter of 2018.

"Our new building will allow us to optimise our office space in Melbourne, and this long-term lease further demonstrates our commitment to our Australian operations," the spokesperson said.

"ExxonMobil is making significant investments to continue supplying Australia's energy needs, including a more than $5.5 billion investment in the Kipper Tuna Turrum project."

The spokesperson said most employees at Southbank would move to the new office building.

"Some employees have already or may in future relocate to site so they can be closer to the equipment and operations they support as we continue to build a stronger business," he said.

The spokesperson declined to say how many of these jobs might relocate to the local area, but there is speculation among them may be a number of engineering employees.

The Australian newspaper reported in December that a Chinese-backed company with ties to a Macau gaming dynasty had acquired the headquarters for just under $160 million as sales in the Victorian capital surge at year end.

The prime office site was put on the market mid-year, following reductions in staff numbers, along with the company's offshore crude oil assets it holds jointly with BHP.

In July last year, joint venturers ExxonMobil and BHP confirmed they had their stakes in Bass Strait crude oil up for sale, along with the Southbank offices.

The offshore fields being offered for sale included Perch, Dolphin, Seahorse, Tarwhine, Kingfish A, Kingfish B, West Kingfish, Fortescue, Halibut, Cobia, Mackerel, Blackback and Flounder, and associated platforms, which produce about 19,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day of production.

With declining oil reserves, the joint venturers are planning to divest much of their crude oil interests in Bass Strait, saying they will focus on the substantial reserves of gas.

ExxonMobil and BHP will retain all the major gas production operations, both the offshore fields and the onshore production plant at Longford.

The joint venturers have operated oil fields in Bass Strait since the 1960s after they drilled the country's first offshore well in 1965, reaching peak production of about 500,000 barrels a day in the 1980s.

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