Oil and gas

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - CONTENTS - www.swanex­hi­bi­tions.com.au

Ever since 1993, the bi­en­nial Oil & Gas Ex­hi­bi­tion has at­tracted a wide range of na­tional and in­ter­na­tional ex­hibitors, as well some well-known New Zealand and over­seas speak­ers. The 2014 New Zealand Oil & Gas Ex­hi­bi­tion & Con­fer­ence was no dif­fer­ent.

Though small by in­ter­na­tional stan­dards, the two-day event, this year spon­sored by KBC, re­mains an im­por­tant part of the New Zealand en­ergy in­dus­try.

This year’s event at­tracted about 30 per­cent more ex­hibitors than the 2012 expo did, though num­bers at­tend­ing the as­so­ci­ated con­fer­ence were down slightly.

Expo and con­fer­ence or­gan­iser David Murphy said the main fo­cus of this year’s event was en­vi­ron­men­tal re­spon­si­bil­ity and health and safety aware­ness – top­ics that were par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant for Aus­tralia and New Zealand with their re­cently es­tab­lished NOPSEMA and En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Key­note speaker Lucy Muir, en­vi­ron­ment man­ager for S2V Con­sult­ing, told of the lessons learned since 2012 re­gard­ing sev­eral en­vi­ron­men­tally sen­si­tive off­shore Aus­tralian re­gions. Prepara­tory work for seis­mic sur­veys or ex­plo­ration drilling should in­volve early en­gage­ment with af­fected par­ties, en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ments, and con­tain­ment and clean-up plans for any un­likely spills or unau­tho­rised dis­charges.

She said there were “some crazy con­cerns, but some very valid” re­gard­ing pos­si­ble af­fects on marine mam­mals, fish­eries and shore ecosys­tems.

Work­ing with and gain­ing ap­proval from NOPSEMA could take a year or longer. There was also a need for on­go­ing con­sul­ta­tion, li­ai­son and com­pro­mise.

“The goal­posts may move, a change of fo­cus... it’s def­i­nitely been a learn­ing curve... but it’s def­i­nitely for the bet­ter for the in­dus­try.”

The New Ply­mouth Dis­trict Coun­cil’s strat­egy man­ager, Liam Hodges, echoed sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments for on­shore oil and gas ac­tiv­ity, say­ing early in­dus­try en­gage­ment with af­fected par­ties and rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties, as well as clear, con­cise and con­sis­tent com­mu­ni­ca­tion, were nec­es­sary.

He added that the New Ply­mouth, Strat­ford and South Taranaki dis­trict coun­cil, as well as the Taranaki Re­gional Coun­cil, were work­ing “to stream­line” the var­i­ous dif­fer­ent re­source con­sent pro­ce­dures, and other nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tions – a move that the oil and gas com­pa­nies in­volved in on­shore or near-shore ex­plo­ration and pro­duc­tion will wel­come.

DuPont sus­tain­able so­lu­tions man­ager for Aus­tralia, An­drew Wilson, said driv­ing pos­i­tive cul­ture change in any work­place was key to im­prov­ing safety and ef­fi­cien­cies.

Dis­ci­pline in all ar­eas of a business – from ef­fec­tively man­ag­ing peo­ple, plans, op­er­a­tions and main­te­nance, to man­ag­ing com­pli­ance and emer­gency pro­ce­dures – was es­sen­tial in driv­ing that change, par­tic­u­larly for those busi­nesses op­er­at­ing in hazardous en­vi­ron­ments.

“Wait­ing for the cavalry to ar­rive won’t re­ally work, par­tic­u­larly for off­shore in­ci­dents.”

Fi­nally, there was the ex­pected, almost oblig­a­tory, en­vi­ron­men­tal protest, with about 26 chant­ing and plac­ard–wav­ing peo­ple ar­riv­ing out­side the expo venue, the TSB Sta­dium, about mid­day on the first day.

After a while po­lice es­corted the pro­tes­tors, led by the Cli­mate Jus­tice Taranaki or­gan­i­sa­tion, away from the sta­dium.

Event man­ager David Murphy later said that Swan Exhibitions, ex­hibitors and del­e­gates re­spected peo­ple’s right to peace­fully protest, as he hoped they re­spected the in­dus­try’s right to hold such events.

So it was par­tic­u­larly ap­pro­pri­ate the expo and con­fer­ence con­cen­trated on best en­vi­ron­men­tal and health and safety prac­tices and tech­nolo­gies.

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