BY CAMERON DRUMMOND
RUNNING for more than 56 years, the APPEA Oil and Gas Conference & Exhibition is the largest annual upstream oil and gas event in the southern hemisphere, attracting industry leaders from around the world. APPEA 2017 will be held from 14–17 May at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, WA.
The APPEA Oil and Gas Conference & Exhibition has grown into more than a showcase for the national and international oil and gas industry; it also allows delegates to network and to meet and learn from the industry’s best minds.
APPEA 2017 will be held as debates on Australia’s energy challenges reach a fever pitch.
International experts and Australian industry leaders will provide up-to-date analysis, case studies and technical know-how on the big issues.
The conference will also examine oil and gas projects, technologies, trends and opportunities in other parts of Australia; and politicians, executives and analysts will discuss the policy concerns confronting Australia.
APPEA chairman Bruce Lake said that this years’ event would offer more than 100 speeches and presentations.
“These will examine issues ranging from global and national developments in energy and climate policies; unconventional gas; LNG; project development; updates from regulators; tax, fiscal and commercial issues; prospectivity of frontier basins; and other scientific and technological reports,” Mr Lake said.
“We are seeing innovation in the offshore, onshore and LNG sectors in several parts of the eastern states, South Australia and Northern Territory.
“Issues such as technology and performance, and engagement and building trust, are relevant everywhere the industry operates.”
APPEA chief executive Malcolm Roberts said the upcoming conference and exhibition was an indispensable sounding board for the upstream petroleum industry in Australia.
“The conference program provokes discussion on the major issues of the day,” Dr Roberts said.
“But it’s in the convention centre corridors and the exhibition hall aisles where some of the best exchanges happen; there are so many opportunities for making new connections and sharing insights.”
The review of the petroleum resource rent tax will be a key issue for many conference attendees.
“Changes to our tax regime put at risk Australia’s capacity to find and develop oil and gas resources. The conference program addresses this issue — and we will be listening closely to the discussions around the event,” Dr Roberts said.
Dr Roberts said policymakers were now confronting tough decisions that can no longer be deferred.
“The conference theme – Energy in Transition – is right on the money, literally and metaphorically,” he said.
“Decisions made in the next 12 months will affect the industry’s future – its ability to earn the revenue necessary to sustain jobs and investment.”
This year, the exhibition hall will host more than 200 exhibiting companies showcasing their products and services.
These will include representatives from Australian and international oil and gas producers, manufacturers, service providers, energy consultants, government representatives and associated industry members.
An array of products will be on display; including oilfield equipment and software, field automation, data solutions, research and education.
The exhibitions run across all three days of the conference.
Sessions – what to expect
The opening session of APPEA 2017, Energy in Transition will feature high-level addresses from the Federal Government, including Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan and a post-election address from a WA state political leader; as well as APPEA chairman Bruce Lake.
Combined with a lead industry address featuring Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman, the session will set the scene for three days of in depth discussion and debate as the industry considers its place in a period of rapid, and turbulent, change.
In the afternoon of the first day, eight concurrent sessions will give delegates a plethora of attendance options to choose from, covering topics such as operating in the Great Australian Bight, collaboration, and environmental management.
A highlight of these sessions will be session two – ‘Operating in the Great Australian Bight’ – and will showcase gas exploration options and environmental considerations in Australia’s largely untapped southern ocean region, with presentations by speakers from the CSIRO, Chevron, SARDI and BP.
Tuesday’s opening plenary will discuss how industry diversity and inclusion can improve an organisation’s profitability, reputation and effectiveness.
Session speakers and APPEA guest facilitator Shell Australia general manager Michael Schoch will explore the role diversity plays in growing a strong business and the opportunities and challenges such an approach may face when an industry is in a period of slower growth.
Industry speakers include Clough chief executive Peter Bennett, BHP Billiton Petroleum Australia general manager Graham Salmond, as well as 2016 QLD Young Australian of the Year and Mechanical Engineer Yassmin Abdel-Magied.
Twelve more concurrent sessions after lunch that day will include topics such as acreage releases, seismic technology, process safety, coal seam gas and research innovation.
Acreage releases – a hot topic in recent months – will include 2017 offshore acreage information by representatives from the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Geoscience Australia and the Western Australia Department of Mines and Petroleum.
Wednesday morning’s plenary will showcase an industry leaders panel from APPEA’s exploration and production member companies discussing the Australian oil and gas industry in transition; what it means for the industry globally and in Australia; and how their businesses are responding to the challenges and opportunities that arise during periods of change.
The session will be facilitated by former executive director of the International Energy Agency Maria van der Hoeven, with panellists from ExxonMobil, Senex Energy and BP Developments Australia.
The final plenary of the conference, ‘Addressing trust challenges and regulatory uncertainty’, will be facilitated by leading journalist Ali Moore, and will examine how serious trust challenges have affected the oil and gas industry.
Dr Roberts will then bring the three day conference to an end with his closing address.