AOG 2018

The Australian Energy Review - - FRONT PAGE - EL­IZ­A­BETH FABRI

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.

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