AN EVOLVING LANDSCAPE
AUSTRALIA’S oil and gas industry is set for steady growth over the next 12 months, according to Chief Economist Mark Cully’s latest Resources and Energy Quarterly report.
“2018 marks the end of the remarkable resources and energy investment boom of the past decade,” Mr Cully said.
“The three remaining large LNG projects – Wheatstone, Ichthys and Prelude – are expected to complete construction.
“Beyond that, a slight uptick in projects that have been publicly announced or under feasibility points to a bottoming in the investment cycle.”
With the end of the construction boom looming rising export earnings were imminent, with income forecast to reach a record $214 billion in 2017-18, driven largely by growing LNG and iron ore production.
Looking closer, LNG export earnings were forecast to increase from $22 billion in 2016–17 to $36 billion in 2018–19, while LNG export volumes were expected to reach 77 million tonnes (mt) in 2018–19, up from 52mt in 2016–17.
The outlook for crude oil and condensate export earnings was optimistic too, with an increase from $5.5 billion in 2016–17 to $6 billion in 2017–18 as an outcome of higher oil prices, with further increases through 2018-19.
On the backdrop of this changing energy landscape, AOG 2018 running from 14-16 March at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, comes at an opportune time for the industry.
After becoming a free-to-attend event for the first time last year, AOG will again feature a series of free industry forums staged on the exhibition floor over the three days covering the topics of Collaboration, Subsea, and Knowledge.
AOG event director Bill Hare said just like the oil and gas industry, 2018 was set to be a positive year for the conference.
“The industry has undergone a massive tightening over the last few years that’s effected pretty much every player in the game,” Mr Hare said.
“Companies have tightened their belts; they’ve reduced their marketing budgets, there has been big redundancies, mergers and acquisitions; a lot of disruptions happening in the industry and this has been reflected in AOG, absolutely.”
“It’s a shrinking marketplace and unfortunately AOG has also reduced in size over that journey along with the rest of the industry.”
This year was shaping up to be better though with more exhibitors that 2017, and a total attendance of between 8500 and 9000 people was expected.
There would also be an increased focus throughout the conference on the operational phase of projects.
“The construction era is essentially over, and we’re certainly hopeful there will be some big greenfields projects approved over the next few years, but really Australia has grown to become such an enormous producer, particularly LNG, so now it’s all about the opportunities for the service and supply industry,” Mr Hare said.
“AOG wants to reflect that, our exhibitors are the supply chain and we want to make sure that we are helping them understand the opportunities that are available at the moment.”
One of the key events on the agenda included a greenfields session on emerging projects and how to operate them efficiently and reliably.
There would also be a focus on clean energy throughout discussions, with companies such as Woodside leading the way through its battery storage test project on one of its platforms.
Decommissioning was also in the mix, and while a long way off for many companies, it was still a hot topic among attendees.
“Decommissioning is really on the far side of the industry but it’s also becoming more interesting to industry; it’s inevitable,” Mr Hare said.
“The talk of life extension is probably more prevalent than decommissioning at the moment but there is debate on decommissioning; for example do we have the right legislation, and do we really understand what it means here.”
“Workforce of the future is also a key element of the conference sessions.”
There will also be a host of new technologies on show, and while the exhibitor content was still yet to be finalised, Mr Hare could confirm Oceaneering was bringing in a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) simulator.
Image: //// .
AOG has a large line up of networking events planned for 2018.