Top 20 Australian Gas Leaders 2015: Individuals

Barry Goldstein, Executive Director – Energy Resources in South Australia’s Department of State Development.

Barry Goldstein, Executive Director – Energy Resources in South Australia’s Department of State Development.

Welcome to the inaugural Top 20 Australian Gas Leaders* – Individuals list, charting a mix of influential gas stalwarts and upcoming visionaries who have made a significant impact on the Australian gas industry.

1. Barry Goldstein
Career in the gas industry: Barry Goldstein is the Executive Director–Energy Resources in South Australia’s Department of State Development. He joined the public sector in 2002 following a successful career as a petroleum geologist and previously held the position of Santos Exploration Manager and Chief Geologist.
Unique contribution: Since 2002, Barry has brought decades of industry experience spanning exploration, development, production and pipelines as well as corporate drivers to design and implement legislation, government policy, and regulation for efficiency and effectiveness.
Industry recognition:

  • The Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia Distinguished Service Award in April 2014;
  • An Order of Australia National Honour, Public Service Medal in January 2014;
  • The APPEA Gold Medal – the Lewis G. Weeks Award in May 2013; and,
  • The American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ Distinguished Service Award in April 2008.

Charitable initiatives: Barry raises funds for ovarian cancer research and does pro-bono work for professional societies to advance science, technologies and educate youth.
Professional organisation membership: The American
Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia (PESA), Geothermal Resource Council (GRC) and Australian Minerals and Petroleum Law Association (AMPLA).

2. Renee Garner
Career in the gas industry: Renee is a passionate and enthusiastic energy professional who combines her legal and commercial background to influence the development of the gas and electricity industry in Australia. Renee is currently the General Manager, Retail Regulation and Compliance at EnergyAustralia, one of Australia’s largest retailers of gas and electricity. Renee is also a Director of the Energy Retailers Association of Australia.
Unique contribution: Renee directly influences the development of energy policy in Australia by representing EnergyAustralia at all levels of State and Federal government, on industry boards and with regulators and other external stakeholders. Renee has also made significant academic contributions on energy, climate change law and policy matters – she co-authored the first climate change law text book in Australia entitled Global Climate Change: Australian Law and Policy.
Industry recognition: Awarded the Australian Financial Review BOSS Magazine Young Executive of the Year and awarded a scholarship by Chief Executive Women to attend French graduate business school INSEAD in 2014. Named by Lawyers Weekly as a Young Gun Lawyer in 2008.
Charitable initiatives: Renee is a volunteer with the Special Children’s Christmas Party charity, which aims to provide disadvantaged children with a day they will never forget.

3. Brian O’Sullivan
Career in the gas industry: Brian has held senior positions in engineering firms and worked on upstream, midstream and downstream projects, as well as developments and assets throughout Australia, New Zealand, PNG, North and South America, and the Middle East over the past 25 years.
Unique contribution: In 1998, Brian started OSD with a vision to grow a fully vertically integrated service company for the hydrocarbon transportation industry based upon innovative designs and practices to increase Australia’s competitive position. Today, OSD is the only service provider that supports the gas industry from well head to customer with engineering, operations, asset management, training, commercial, and capital provision services.
Industry recognition: Received an Order of Australia for significant service to engineering in the oil and gas industry, and to support for people with muscular dystrophy on Australia Day 2015.
Charitable initiatives: For almost 20 years, Brian has been a supporter and advocate for muscular dystrophy in Australia and was instrumental in forming the Australian Muscular Dystrophy Foundation where he served as Chairman for five years.
Professional organisation membership: Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA), Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) and Queensland Petroleum Exploration Association (QUPEX).

4. Derek Flucker
Career in the gas industry: Derek is the Managing Director and Owner of RBY Projects, which works in the CSG sector in Queensland. Derek is regularly invited to address industry conventions and conferences in his role at RBY, which is recognised as a leader in Indigenous engagement and employment for the CSG sector.
Unique contribution: Under Derek’s leadership, RBY is the largest 100 per cent Indigenous business working in the Queensland oil and gas industry. Derek has also initiated an international benchmarking project in his pro bono role as Chairperson of the peak Indigenous mining/oil and gas organisation, Aboriginal Enterprises in Mining, Exploration and Energy (AEMEE).
Industry recognition: Northern Project Contracting, a company that Derek built and managed under the ownership of an Indigenous community, was awarded a Telstra Business Award in 2010 as well as a Reconciliation Business Award and a Smart Award in 2008.
Charitable initiatives: RBY regularly sponsors local Aboriginal sporting teams, individuals seeking funds to attend national and international sporting events, and has provided educational materials to primarily Indigenous schools for particular projects.
Professional organisation membership: Chairperson of AEMEE and board member for the University of Queensland’s Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining.

5. Paul Adams
Career in the gas industry: Paul is Managing Director of energy and water transportation company Jemena. Paul has more than 30 years’ experience in the Australian energy sector.
Unique contribution: Appointed Jemena Managing Director in 2008, Paul has led the expansion of the Jemena Gas Network and is establishing Jemena as a world leader in energy distribution and pipeline infrastructure ownership and management.
Professional organisation membership: Paul is Chair of Zinfra Group, Deputy Chair of ActewAGL, Director of Australian Gas Industry Trust (AGIT), a Fellow of the Engineers Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) and Chairman of the Energy Networks Association (ENA).

6. Will Rifkin
Career in the gas industry: Drawing on his 30-year history in the energy and resources sector, Will is Chair in Social Performance for the University of Queensland’s Centre for Coal Seam Gas and Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining. He oversees a $3 million portfolio of research on social and economic effects of CSG development in Queensland.
Unique contribution: Will brings to the gas industry a focus on getting the industry, government and the community ‘on the same page’. Will facilitates research projects that assess impacts and benefits at the individual, town, and regional level to place the experiences and perceptions of individuals in context. He has presented keynote addresses and chaired sessions at conferences in Australia and internationally.
Industry recognition: Recognised as one of the most innovative and effective university teachers in Australia, receiving awards from several universities.
Charitable initiatives: Will supports international development programs in Africa and Cambodia. He is also working with his wife to connect artisanal miners of gems in Madagascar with Aboriginal women in northern Queensland to create and market jewellery that fosters economic development for women.
Professional organisation membership: SPE, the International Association for Impact Assessment, and the Society for Applied Anthropology.

7. Reg Nelson
Career in the gas industry: Starting as an exploration geophysicist, former Beach Energy Managing Director Reg Nelson has had a career spanning nearly four decades in the minerals and petroleum industries. A former Chairman of the APPEA and former Director of Mineral Development for South Australia, Reg is now Director of Far Limited.
Unique contribution: Reg was closely involved with the Cooper Basin Accelerated Gas Program, instituted to establish additional gas reserves for the South Australian market in the 1980s. He also helped the South Australian Government develop a business plan; concepts that were later used by the government in its successful South Australian Exploration Initiative. He played a key role in establishing codes of environmental practice for petroleum explorations, and is a sought after industry expert and a highly successful business leader.
Industry recognition:

  • Honorary award of Life Membership of Nature Foundation SA in 2010;
  • APPEA’s Reg Sprigg Gold Medal for outstanding service to the industry in 2009;
  • Prime Minister’s Centenary Medal for services to the Australian mining industry in 2002; and,
  • Honorary Life Membership of the US-based Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) in 1989.

Professional organisation membership: PESA.

8. Veena Mendez
Career in the gas industry: Veena has held various roles within oil, gas and related industries in Dubai and WA. She is currently the Category Team Lead in Supply Chain for Chevron where she is looking after Chevron’s Contingent Labour Hire strategy for the Australian Business Unit in Perth.
Unique contribution: Veena founder of Women in Oil and Gas (WIOG), a national organisation deeply focused on advancing the interests of women in Australia’s oil and gas sector.
Industry recognition: Her Thesis on how fluctuations in oil prices could affect the economy of Dubai received a commendation from the University of Lincoln.
Charitable initiatives: Veena supports The Hunger Project and the Zonta House Women’s refuge – two organisations that empower women to become agents of change in their own communities.
Professional organisation membership: Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.

9. Joachim Tan
Career in the gas industry: Joachim worked at the Office of Energy (now the Public Utilities Office) to assist with the development of the WA energy sector in 2012. He worked on all aspects of energy and provided advice to the WA Government and the Minister of Energy. Joachim subsequently joined the Independent Market Operator as a key member of the Gas Information Services Project. His work on the project assisted with establishing new gas-related legislation, the Gas Bulletin Board and the annual WA Gas Statement of Opportunities.
Unique contribution: Joachim developed a pipeline easement calculation formula that that now guides the WA Government on easement charges. Joachim is also an important gas analyst for the WA gas industry.
Industry recognition: Won several national and state awards for his work in the telecommunications industry of the WA Government.
Charitable initiatives: Volunteers for Subiaco Church of Christ, the Singapore Western Australia Network (SWAN), the Borderless Gandhi project and the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast.
Professional organisation membership: Honorary board position at the Singapore Chamber of Commerce (WA).

10. Steve Wright
Career in the gas industry: Steve is a Director and founding member of the Energy Resource Information Centre (ERIC), which promotes the natural gas industry.
Unique contribution: ERIC complements the representative role of APPEA by providing a new face for natural gas development with an emphasis on promoting the industry and its contribution to communities across Australia. ERIC also challenges the dogma of many activist groups seeking to bring gas development to a halt.
Charitable initiatives: Steve is involved with the In2Life charity; a community-based initiative that fights youth homelessness and suicide.
Professional organisation membership: The Norwood Resource.

11. Barbara Jinks
Career in the gas industry: Barbara is the Executive Director of LNG18, a global LNG conference and exhibition that will be held in Perth on 11–15 April 2016. Barbara has over 31 years’ experience in the natural gas industry, particularly in pipeline and field development projects.
Unique contribution: Barbara holds the unique position of being one of the first women in the Australian gas industry. She is also the Vice-Chair of the marketing committee with the International Gas Union (IGU). Barbara manages a study group under the IGU marketing committee and will be organising and chairing a session at the upcoming WGC15 in June in Paris.
Industry recognition: Named one of 100 Influential Women in Australia by Westpac/AFR in 2012. Received the Award of Excellence by AGIT in 2006.
Charitable initiatives: Barbara is a Director of YMCA Brisbane and she mentors younger engineers through the QUT Mentor scheme. She is also an Industry Mentor at the annual AGIT GasSpeak Colloquium.
Professional organisation membership: APGA and QUPEX.

12. Peter Coleman
Career in the gas industry: Currently the Chief Executive and Managing Director of Woodside, Peter has more than 30 years’ experience in the global oil and gas business – including 27 years with the ExxonMobil group.
Unique contribution: Peter has led development and project work in excess of $US40 billion, including the PNG LNG Project. By engaging local stakeholders, Peter has been successful in providing energy security, job opportunities and economic development in some of the world’s poorest communities. Under his leadership, Woodside has achieved a better balance between environmental sustainability and development.
Industry recognition: Distinguished Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award from Monash University in 2013 and honorary title of Adjunct Professor in Corporate Strategy from the University of Western Australia in 2012.
Charitable initiatives: Following the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, Peter introduced numerous community programs in Aceh and Cepu. He is also responsible for a 50 per cent increase in Woodside’s philanthropic program.
Professional organisation membership: University of Western Australia Business School Board, Executive Committee of the Australia Japan Business Cooperation Council, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Australia-India Chief Executive Officers’ Forum and Monash Engineering Foundation.

13. Martin Ferguson
Career in the gas industry: Since leaving Australian Parliament in August 2013 after serving as Shadow Minister and Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin has been Chairman of the APPEA Advisory Board and an Independent Director of BG Group. He is also a Group Executive in Natural Resources at Seven Group Holdings (SGH), which operates SGH Energy in the petroleum sector.
Unique contribution: During his work in Opposition, in particular, Martin developed a close working relationship with many in the oil and gas sector. Under Martin’s stewardship, Australia attracted over $200 billion in new investment with 12 additional trains under construction at Gorgon, Wheatstone, Darwin and Gladstone,
Charitable initiatives: Martin is involved with the Indigenous Girls Engagement program and the Yothu Yindi Foundation Board. He was also a volunteer on the National Library of Australia’s Foundation Board and the St Vincent de Paul soup kitchen in Melbourne.

14. David Rowbottam
Career in the gas industry: David is the Managing Director of WHL Energy. He has an illustrious past in the gas industry; he has worked for BHP Billiton for 13 years across a number of different financial and commercial roles, assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer at Alinta Gas, and taken up the position of Financial Controller at Antares Energy.
Unique contribution: David’s work with WHL Energy in the Seychelles may eventually result in the country becoming an energy exporter and will ultimately change its financial future. Given the Seychelles only has a population of 95,000, the impact would be widespread. In its collaboration with Seychelles, WHL Energy has had an opportunity to represent the Australian gas industry in a positive light.
Industry recognition: David was recently chosen to speak at the inaugural Africa Oil & Gas Forum at AOG 2015. David is an Australian specialist who has a close working knowledge of what it takes to succeed in the African oil and gas industry.

15. Richard Cottee
Career in the gas industry: Since 2012, Richard has been the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Central Petroleum. He began in the industry at Crusader Oil, moving on to Santos, before he became the Chief Executive of CS Energy and then QGC – among holding many other positions in the industry.
Unique contribution: Richard was instrumental in building the South West Queensland Gas and the Ballera to Moomba gas pipeline. He is also an early proponent who commercialised CSG in Australia by understanding that the only way to overcome the deep scepticism against CSG was to introduce a substantial intermediary seller, such as BG, which could guarantee supply to end-users whatever happened. By doing that, Richard laid the foundation for Australia’s $20 billion LNG export industry.
Industry recognition: Excellence in Oil & Gas ‘Legend in Oil and Gas Award’ in 2009. Named Professional Manager of the Year–Queensland by the Australian Institute of Management in 2007.
Charitable initiatives: Foundation member of the Australian Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) in 1998.
Professional organisation membership: APPEA.

16. Frank Krieger
Career in the gas industry: Frank started his career as a Research Geologist with CSIRO’s petroleum division in Sydney, before joining ConocoPhillips in 1997. He has worked for ConocoPhillips in the UK, Australia and US, before taking his current role in Perth as Vice President Exploration and Development.
Unique contribution: Frank brings global expertise from almost 20 years with ConocoPhillips. His knowledge includes building new businesses in Angola and Greenland, developing complex fields such as J-Block in the UK Central Graben, and new venture exploration across the Atlantic Basin. Frank’s experience in large complex field developments and full life cycle projects not only assists with current offshore operations at the Bayu-Undan field but also potential development projects across northern Australia.
Industry recognition: Secured two US patents in work with CSIRO.
Professional organisation membership: APPEA Board Director, APPEA Exploration Committee, Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain and American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

17. Emily Novatsis
Career in the gas industry: Emily is currently a Principal Human Factors Advisor at The Keil Centre. Previously, she worked with Woodside where she delivered projects on safety culture development, HSE leadership and human factors in incident investigation.
Unique contribution: Emily is a registered organisational psychologist who applies the science of psychology and ergonomics to help improve human reliability in the gas industry. Understanding the capabilities and limitations of people, and why they behave as they do, helps her design jobs and work environments that reduce error and set people up for successful performance in the gas industry. She is the co-director of the Human Factors in Health and Safety Professional Development Program for the process and resource sectors in Australia.
Industry recognition: Winner of the 2008 APPEA Safety Innovation Award, and finalist in the 2010 Chamber for Minerals and Energy Health and Safety Innovation Awards with colleagues at Woodside for approach to safety culture development.
Charitable initiatives: Keen cyclist and runner who often participates in community events that raise money for charity.

18. Tim Nelson
Career in the gas industry: Tim is the Head of Economics, Policy and Sustainability at AGL Energy. He briefs governments, community stakeholders and investors about AGL and Australian energy and climate policy. Prior to AGL, Tim was a Principal Policy Officer at the NSW Cabinet Office.
Unique contribution: Tim has provided high-quality analysis, which has been referenced by Prime Ministers, Treasurers, general policy makers, NGOs and other interested stakeholders. Most notably, Tim authored the papers Delayed Carbon Policy Certainty and Electricity Prices in Australia and the East Coast Gas Supply Cliff that generated significant discussion about the costs associated with climate change policy uncertainty and the need for greater volume of gas supplies to be facilitated by government.
Industry recognition: Tim has been part of two ARC Linkage Grants and is currently working with University of New England to analyse the regional impacts of climate change policy and emissions trading.
Charitable initiatives: Tim leads AGL’s Energy for Life program, which supports four key charity partners and facilitates employee giving and volunteering. Tim is also on his local Catholic Church’s finance committee.

19. John Anderson
Career in the gas industry: John is currently Santos Vice President Asia, WA and NT. He joined Santos in 1996 as a Corporate Counsel in the company’s Brisbane office, having previously worked for 10 years as a lawyer with Freehills.
Unique contribution: John brings an entrepreneurial flair to an industry better known for its conservative approach to decision-making. He has a ‘merchant banker’s eye’ for identifying opportunities and thinking outside the square, unrestrained by standard analysis.
Industry recognition: Co-winner of the Western Australian Gas Industry Development Award in 2012.
Charitable initiatives: John was a driving force behind Santos support in WA for Homeless Connect and the Clontarf Foundation. He also secured support for Somerville Community Services.
Professional organisation membership: Member of the NT Chief Minister’s Advisory Council and Gastech board of governors.

20. Kevin Gallagher
Career in the gas industry: Kevin Gallagher is the CEO and Managing Director of Clough Limited, where he has overseen Clough’s activity on every LNG project in Australia and PNG. He is a senior executive with more than 25 years’ experience in managing oil and gas operations in Australia, the US and North and West Africa.
Unique contribution: Kevin is a strong advocate for the development of high-value engineering skills in Australia, with a vision to position the country as a centre of excellence for LNG engineering, and sustain the Australian economy well beyond the LNG construction boom. Kevin is a respected thought leader for the Australian energy and resources sectors and has performed keynote addresses at leading industry events.
Industry recognition: Recognised by Australia’s CEO Magazine as the CEO of the Year, and the Energy and Resources Executive of the Year in 2013 as well as one of the ’40 under 40’ by the WA Business News in 2003.
Charitable initiatives: In 2013, Kevin established the charitable trust Clough Foundation.
Professional organisation membership: Non-Executive Director of the Australian Contractors Association, Committee Member for the APPEA Productivity Committee, Fellow of Engineers Australia, Advisory Board Member for Curtin School of Business and University of Western Australia’s Dean’s Council.

*Individuals are listed in no particular order. Individuals listed in the Top 20 Australian Gas Leaders 2015: Individuals were selected through a process of reviewing individual submissions, and selection based on exceptional individuals, whose numerous awards, professional associations and individual contributions to the Australian gas industry have been exemplary. Individual information listed was current as at 24 April 2015.

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