Switching on the light to reveal a bright future

ACCOUNTING for close to 40 per cent of global energy demand, the Asia-Pacific region plays a critical role in the international oil and gas industry.
Australia is the third-largest LNG exporter in the Asia-Pacific region, with natural gas reserves among the biggest in the world.
This is of particular significance given that energy demand in Asia is expected to double from 3.28 billion tonnes of oil equivalent to 6.32btoe by 2030, according to the Asian Development Bank, an organisation dedicated to fighting poverty in Asia and the Pacific.
The chairman, president and chief executive of engineering, procurement and construction company CB&I, Gerald Glenn, predicted that the Asia-Pacific region’s flourishing oil and gas industry would provide a number of prospects for companies.
“With strong economic growth forecast for the next couple of decades, rising demand for energy and petrochemical products should lead to abundant opportunities in [the] Asia-Pacific [region] for international engineering and construction firms in the oil and gas sector,” he said.
International not-for-profit organisation the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) stated that the region was well known for its diversity and capacity for growth.
The SPE holds its Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition (APOGCE) annually, and this year the society’s WA Section will host the event at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, from October 22 to 24.
Themed ‘Providing a Bright Future’, the 2012 APOGCE aims to recognise and promote the important role the industry will play in the years ahead.
Woodside Energy executive vice president of production and APOGCE conference chairman Vince Santostefano said the event allowed delegates to understand the region’s oil and gas industry.
“APOGCE allows companies to share their best practices and discuss lessons learned so that the entire industry benefits from these new developments,” Mr Santostefano said.
“We operate in an increasingly diverse and competitive industry, with new technologies being deployed constantly and new standards of safety and reliability being attained.”
Event growth
Despite humble beginnings, the SPE claims that APOGCE has developed into the leading regional technical conference for industry professionals wishing to discuss drilling, exploration, production technology, industry matters and operational issues while networking at its social events.
Mr Santostefano that said the conference and exhibition scope and attendance had both increased significantly since the original event.
“SPE held its first conference in the region more than 20 years ago, with about 200 industry professionals attending an event in Sydney,” he said.
“As SPE grew locally in size and influence, we decided that a larger international conference should be organised, resulting in the inaugural APOGCE being held in Perth in 1998.”
That year, the conference attracted a little more than 700 participants from 22 countries.
“The conference now attracts about 1000 participants each year from about 30 nations, building strong partnerships across our industry and sharing knowledge in technical areas that are crucial to our future success,” Mr Santostefano said.
Each year, APOGCE is held in Australia or Southeast Asia on a rotational basis: last year Jakarta, Indonesia, was the host city. “Perth has held the conference three times previously and has traditionally attracted the largest attendances, so we are pleased that APOGCE will return to Perth in 2012. We are expecting that over 1200 industry professionals will attend this year,” Mr Santostefano said.
What to expect
The technical program and learning activities will provide a significant opportunity for delegates to gain the latest information concerning the industry and they will have an “impressive array” of activities to choose from, according to Mr Santostefano.
He said that the 2012 event theme was “deliberately optimistic” and reflected the “critical role of the oil and gas industry in ensuring continued economic growth and prosperity in our region”.
He said that beginning on Monday, October 22, the exhibition would feature service and supply companies, and would enable delegates to learn about new products and improvements to existing technologies while networking.
“To date, 36 exhibitors from 12 countries have signed up for 2012 APOGCE,” Mr Santostefano said. “Beyond those from Australia and our region, we also have exhibitors this year from nations including the UK, the US, France and Canada.”
Exhibitors will include Halliburton, Woodside Energy, KAPPA Middle East Asia and Schlumberger. “We have an impressive line-up of keynote speakers this year from business and government,” Mr Santostefano said.
“These include Federal Resources and Energy minister Martin Ferguson, WA Mines and Petroleum minister Norman Moore, KPMG partner and respected commentator Bernard Salt, and senior executives from numerous oil and gas companies.
“Mr Salt will be the first speaker from outside the industry to address the conference.” Mr Santostefano said that daily topical panel sessions would be structured to facilitate “an active exchange of ideas and discussions based on presentations” by industry leaders including ExxonMobil Australia director of gas marketing Kerrie-Anne Lanigan; Origin Queensland CSG general manager Martin
Riley; and Chevron Technology Centre manager Paul Jones.
The four topical panel sessions are titled Gas Supply Competition and Diversity, Progress Towards the Future in Asia-Pacific Unconventional Gas, Intelligent and Remote Operations – Overcoming Today’s Challenges
Using Digital Technology, and Deploying Technologies in your Workplace. Meanwhile, the annual SPE Asia Pacific Regional Awards will recognise leading oil and gas professionals. With the categories of Distinguished Corporate Support, Service, Technical, Outstanding Young Member Service and Distinguished Faculty Achievement, the awards are designed to show appreciation for
exceptional contributions by members. SPE president Dr Ganesh Thakur will present the awards at a luncheon on October 22.
Students also have a chance to become involved in APOGCE, through the SPE Asia Pacific Regional Student Paper Contest. This will see five undergraduate students and 13 postgraduate students competing on the exhibition’s opening day.
Prizes will be awarded at topical luncheon on October 23, and include an invitation to present at the SPE International Student Paper Contest during the 2013 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans in the US.
Getting technical
During the three-day conference and exhibition, more than 160 papers will be presented during 26 technical and e-poster sessions. “The technical program includes sessions on a wide range of issues including well construction, drilling technologies, field development, and unconventional resources,” Mr Santostefano said.
“This year, the technical sessions will cover topics such as completion and production, drilling tools and technology, facilities and operations, field development, fracturing, gas technology, improved/enhanced oil recovery, production monitoring and evaluation, sand control, surface and subsurface integration, and unconventional resources.”
A young professionals workshop is also included in the 2012 program. Themed ‘Switching on the Light’, the workshop was designed for tertiary-qualified oil and gas professionals aged 35 or younger, or with less than 10 years of industry experience.
Young professionals and executives are encouraged to use the workshop as an opportunity to discuss future directions in the oil and gas industry and as a platform to raise important issues.
According to Mr Santostefano, thisworkshop aimed to “facilitate knowledge transfer from experienced oil and gas professionals to the next generation of industry leaders”. in addition, three training courses will be held immediately following the exhibition and conference: Multiphase Pumping; Particle Formation and Deposition in Flowlines; and Evaluation Methods of Gas Shales.
These optional full-day courses will provide opportunities for delegates to learn new skills and fully utilise the conference week.
New additions
For the first time in APOGCE history, a program dedicated to high school students and teachers has been included in the 2012 event’s agenda.
The Education Day/Teachers’ Day program will aim to give both students and teachers an understanding of a petroleum engineer’s role.
Education Day will see 60 students with an interest in science and engineering invited to attend talks by young professionals and industry experts about their experiences in the field, followed by a guided tour of the exhibition.
According to the conference preview, SPE hopes that students will leave the conference “aware that a petroleum engineering career is full of challenges, teamwork and responsibilities”.
Teachers’ Day will introduce educators to the industry via the scientific concepts of energy and oil and gas exploration.
Mr Santostefano said the new initiative would show “how to introduce and incorporate science, technology and energy topics into the classroom”.
Education Day and Teachers’ Day will be held on Tuesday, October 23.

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