Networking at the Top End of oil and gas

AUSTRALIA’s Top End is well on its way to becoming the oil and gas capital of the north, according to Northern Territory chief  minister Paul Henderson.
In 2010 to 2011, the value of gas and liquids production in the NT rose 8 per cent to $2.1 billion, while the value of offshore oil production was estimated at $362 million.
The State Government’s Territory 2030 Strategic Plan outlined an objective to “establish Darwin as a key centre for oil and gas operations, maintenance and workforce” by growing the number of Darwin-based oil and gas companies and people employed in the sector by 2030.
The 18th annual South East Asia Australia Offshore Conference (SEAAOC) is Northern Australia’s key industry networking opportunity for the growing oil and gas sector.
For the fourth year in a row SEAAOC will run alongside the sixth annual Mining the Territory conference, to create Northern Territory Resources Week.
NT Resources Week, run in partnership with the NT Government, will address the resources industry in depth while attracting a high standard of speakers and delegates across both conferences.
The event regularly draws more than 800 industry leaders by offering opportunities for networking, expanding business, learning from industry professionals and discovering the latest developments. SEAAOC Northern Australia’s largest and most established petroleum conference provides an international opportunity to discuss key gas and LNG developments along the northern band and Southeast Asia.
In March 2012, across WA, Queensland and the NT, $175 billion worth of investment was recorded in the LNG industry.
There will be a considerable focus on INPEX’s Ichthys project in addition to the new subject of shale gas.
SEAAOC project manager Luke Hartcher said LNG and shale gas were the two most important topics for the 2012 event.
“The conference is largely focussed on LNG as the majority of the major projects in the Australasian region are LNG, not oil,” he said.
“The success of shale gas in the US will have a huge follow-on effect in the Asian LNG market as the US now looks to export their excess shale gas.
“It is also believed that Australia is rich in shale gas assets and that the industry here will soon develop to rival that of the coal seam gas industry.”
Confirmed exhibitors for the 2012 event include ConocoPhillips Australia, BOC, Toll and Apprenticeships Australia. Charles Darwin University will man a stand encouraging students to speak to major players in the industry.
IIR Conferences marketing manager Anthony Anemogiannis said larger exhibition space this year proved SEAAOC was growing.
“The expo has been growing extensively over the past decade and now we have  increased the size from approximately 100 stands to 120, making it the largest it has been. We have just over 100 stands already confirmed this year, eclipsing previous years already,” he said.
“Numbers have been growing over the past few years in terms of the conference.
This year we are hoping for around 200 plus, which doesn’t include the expo which is open to the public across the 19th and 20th of September.”
This year’s conference features eminent speakers from the oil and gas industry including ConocoPhillips Australia West president Todd Creeger, Santos vice president for Asia Pacific Martyn Eames, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association chief executive David Byers and GDF SUEZ Bonaparte general manager Jean-Francois Letellier.
Speakers will focuss on LNG and shale gas, in addition to topics such as company updates, Asian gas demand, skills shortages and the economic climate for the resources                  industry.
“The conference will also look into floating liquified natural gas [FLNG] as the latest trend in developing offshore LNG reserves, and the keynote case study will be on the $34 billion Ichthys project and will be delivered by Mr Seiya Ito, INPEX president director Australia,” Mr Hartcher said.
New to the 2012 event program is a panel discussion on the international gas market that will highlight the interactive format of this year’s event.
Mr Anemogiannis said SEAAOC’s greatest achievement so far was turning the event into a “well-attended industry favourite”.
“The expo has been growing every year and has expanded into another room for this year,” he said.
“We are hopeful that, given Australia’s oil and gas sector is booming, this will continue in years to come.”
Mastering the industry
Although the conference itself runs for two days, attendees have a chance to learn directly from industry’ professionals at masterclasses and workshops beforehand.
According to Mr Anemogiannis, these were an excellent way to learn interactively.
“The masterclasses and workshops accompany the conference, running the day before, and allow participants to enhance their knowledge in specific areas of the industry,” he said.
“The expert-led facilitators encourage group participation and are a must for those attending SEAAOC.”
Three masterclasses and two workshops will be run for those who wish to delve deeper into proven techniques for business success.
Reflecting the growth of LNG production, two of the masterclasses will focuss on natural gas.
The first masterclass, ‘From Evolution to Revolution’, will offer an overview of FLNG and the next big market for LNG, while masterclass two will address the LNG business as a whole.
The third masterclass will focus on  the delivery process and management of modular construction.
The workshops, which are much shorter than the masterclasses, will target practical elements of the industry. The first presentation will outline the sponsoring and management of overseas workers, while the second will provide an introduction to doing business with China.
A crucial part of SEAAOC and the greater NT Resources Week is the opportunity for networking.
Gaining crucial ‘mover and shaker’ contacts within the oil and gas sector can mean lasting business relationships and the difference between success and stagnation.
Mr Anemogiannis said the social events held during the week were very popular. “All are always very well attended and attendees love the relaxed atmosphere they create,” he said.
SEAAOC’s social events aim for a relaxed, business-minded atmosphere in which delegates can interact and discuss the future of their industry.
An official SEAAOC welcome reception hosted by Mr Henderson will introduce delegates to the two-day event.
To be held at Parliament House, one of the NT’s most iconic buildings, the welcome reception is complimentary for all delegates.
Meanwhile, the NT Resources Weekofficial gala dinner will offer SEAAOC and Mining the Territory attendees another opportunity to talk business while enjoying dinner and drinks.
Mr Anemogiannis said the gala dinner was an important networking event.
“The dinner attracts over 450 patrons and is a must for those attending SEAAOC,” he said.
“We also have a breakfast sponsored by AECOM and a closing cocktail cruise to wind down a productive week.”
The breakfast will be held at a venue overlooking Darwin Harbour, to allow delegates to ease into the final day of the conference.
The closing cocktail cruise will depart from Stokes Hill and represents the last opportunity to make contacts with others while enjoying canapés and cocktails.
In September, the SEAAOC online networking system will go live, allowing delegates, sponsors, exhibitors and speakers to browse the site and contact registered attendees.
NT Resources Week
When SEAAOC and Mining the Territory coincide under the one roof, it creates the biggest resources conference and exhibition in Northern Australia.
Mr Anemogiannis said NT Resources Week covered every part of the resources industry.
“The expo combines both mining and petroleum industries under the one roof, giving all stakeholders a well-rounded industry experience and the opportune chance to network with the captains of industry in Northern Australia,” he said.
Last year, the sold-out NT Resources Week attracted more than 800 of Australia’s and Southeast Asia’s resource professionals, including chief executives, directors, senior consultants, business development managers, mining managers, sales and marketing leaders, oil and gas managers, analysts, managing directors and general managers.
Offshore operators, oil and gas exploration companies, pipeline owners and operators, energy generators, retailers and distributors, infrastructure and engineering companies,
contractors, government regulators and representatives, investors and consultants will come together to discuss issues and plans for exploration.
“It is the largest event solely dedicated to Northern Australia’s burgeoning offshore gas sector,” Mr Anemogiannis said.

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