APPEA 2015: Fulfilling the potential of Australian gas

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Conference and Exhibition 2015 in Melbourne has gone off to an impressive start.

Industry leaders have gathered at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to discuss ways to ensure the industry is fulfilling its potential.

Federal Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane used the conference to launch the Federal Government’s 2015 offshore petroleum acreage release, highlighting the Government’s drive to develop Australia’s natural gas resources.

Mr Macfarlane also said the Government remains committed to streamlining the regulatory process, while encouraging innovation within the industry.

When asked about Merlin Energy Australia, one of four companies shortlisted to develop the proposed Northern Territory to East Coast Interconnect Gas Pipeline, Mr Macfarlane said his understanding is that it is a bona fide company.

Industry needs to promote itself

Meanwhile, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration (APPEA) Chairman Bruce Lake told the first morning of the conference that it is the responsibility of the industry to promote itself.

“We cannot leave it to governments alone to promote and defend our interests,” Mr Lake said.

“Our industry has a great story to tell and it’s our responsibility to tell it.”

Mr Lake’s statement echoed BHP Billiton Petroleum and Potash President Tim Cutt comments that the Australian gas industry can list a number of significant achievements, with LNG exports over the next 4-5 years set to exceed Qatar’s 77 MMt/a.

Mr Cutt also highlighted the commencement of trading for South32, the entity to be demerged from BHP Billiton.

“We believe the demerger will create two great companies in BHP Billiton and South32,” Mr Cutt said.

“South32 will be a substantial independent company with a diversified portfolio of high quality assets and a strong balance sheet.”

The demerger of South32 will aim to simplify BHP Billiton and enable the company to focus on core assets.

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