Top notch conference aims to transform energy future

IN its 53rd year, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Conference and Exhibition is still one of Australia’s most prominent industry events.
The Brisbane-based 2013 conference will provide the opportunity for attendees to make new contacts, browse exhibitor’s wares and learn more about the industry.
“While Brisbane plays host, the conference will focus on the whole of Australia where almost $200 billion of oil and gas projects are currently under development and a further investment of about $100 million is being considered,” APPEA chairman David Knox said.
At last year’s event in Adelaide, 3020 attendees registered for the event; the highest number recorded outside of Perth.
As the “voice of Australia’s oil and gas industry”, APPEA is a peak body representing the nation’s upstream exploration and production industry, with almost 100 full member companies and more than 250 associate member companies that account for about 98 per cent of the country’s petroleum production.
APPEA acts as an industry watchdog, working with state and territory governments to ensure regulatory and commercial frameworks promote investment and maximise returns to Australian industry and community.
The conference and exhibition brought together the important players from the oil and gas industry, an APPEA spokesperson said.
“The event provides a forum for discussing projects, ideas, issues and trends within the oil and gas industry and for conveying the industry’s views to other business sectors, politicians and government officials, the media and the general public,” the spokesperson said.
“Because it attracts about 3000 delegates, including many senior industry professionals, the APPEA conference also provides the best opportunity for oil and gas professionals to catch up, network and do business together. “In addition, the APPEA Exhibition provides a valuable, high-profile, high-traffic showcase for organisations to promote their products and services.”
The APPEA 2013 Conference and Exhibition will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on 26 to 29 May.
Queensland as APPEA host
Toward the end of February this year, the Queensland Government lifted a statewide ban on shale oil mining after a four-year review.
Queensland Natural Resources and Mines minister Andrew Cripps said the state was rich in resources and contained about 90 per cent of Australia’s known oil shale resources — which is about 22 billion barrels of oil.
He said Queensland was home to some of Australia’s major resource projects, such as the Arrow Energy LNG Plant and the Australia Pacific LNG and Curtis LNG projects.
“At present, around $60 billion worth of CSG and LNG projects are underway in Queensland. These projects have been made possible through our engineering and scientific expertise and experience and by building strong partnerships with energy partners in Australia and overseas,” Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said.
Mr Knox said Queensland was a thriving hub of industry activity and the perfect setting for the APPEA Conference and Exhibition. “Australia’s first gas production occurred in Queensland and the state remains an important centre of oil and gas activity,” he said.
“Today it is leading the world in the production of coal seam gas with three liquefied natural gas projects under construction.”
The Queensland Government set up the GasFields Commission in April last year to work with rural landholders, regional communities and the onshore gas industry to try and improve coexistence.
The commission evaluates policy and industry practices and looks to strengthen protection for the environment, groundwater and rural industries.
In light of Queensland’s growth, Brisbane is “fast becoming a global hot spot and home to many of the industry’s most active and influential players”, making it the “ideal choice as host city”, the APPEA website stated.
APPEA 2013 program
With the theme of ‘Transforming Our Energy Future’, it is clear that the 2013 event is largely focussed on the changing nature of the oil and gas industry.
This year, the APPEA Conference and Exhibition will feature 16 plenary speakers, 24 concurrent sessions addressing a wide range of topics, and about 200 stands in the exhibition – a record number for the event. “The quality of speakers and the relevance of presentations are as strong as ever,” the spokesperson said.
“This year’s event will attract at least 3000 delegates and will feature the largest-ever APPEA exhibition.
“APPEA expects this will be another successful and well-received event.”
The theme was chosen to reflect the importance of anticipating the industry’s future and looking at the coming years was fundamental in making the right choices, an APPEA spokesperson said,
“Australia and the world as a whole must make decisions about how energy needs will be met in coming decades,” the spokesperson said.
“Gas is the only fuel suitable for baseload power, peaking power and intermittent power. It offers much lower emissions than coal, as well as reliability and affordability that renewables cannot match.
“Making the right decisions now about regulation, exploration, investment and development will allow the gas industry to transform our energy future by making it more secure and more sustainable.”
On Sunday 26 May, before the exhibition opens, the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia is set to present its yearly showcase of acreage and farm-in opportunities within Australia and nearby countries.
Furthermore, a Women in Oil and Gas industry seminar panel discussion will open the conference sessions and provide an opportunity for delegates to hear from successful women in the industry.
Between Monday and Wednesday, the conference sessions would “address the policy hurdles hindering Australia’s ability to meet its energy security and economy development needs” including the need to cut red and green tape, maintain industry access to resources, market-based energy policies and fiscal stability, according to the spokesperson.
The conference will also take an in-depth look at major projects, workforce development, social licence to operate, environmental and water management, emerging exploration and production technologies, Australian shale gas and frontier basins.
Speaking at the plenary sessions are a number of key speakers including Queensland Deputy Premier Jeffrey Seeney, Federal Resources and Energy minister Martin Ferguson, Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Peter Voser and International Energy Agency chief economist Fatih Birol.
The exhibition will comprise oil and gas producers from Australia and overseas, industry product manufacturers and service providers, energy consultants and international, Federal, State and Local Government representatives and APPEA members.
Delegates will be able to peruse an array of products and services including: oilfield equipment, field automation and data solutions, oil sands technology and services, manufacturing, environmental and research and education.
“The event has helped build awareness of the Australian oil and gas industry in Asia and increasingly in other parts of the world,” the spokesperson said.
“With global industry leaders and analysts presenting at APPEA and more big international players exhibiting every year, the APPEA Conference and Exhibition has cemented itself as the premier event in Asia Pacific oil and gas.”
Networking
Conferences and exhibitions are a good way to expand contacts and networks, but networking events often provide the best platform for meeting new people within the oil and gas industry.
Officially opening the 2013 conference and exhibition, a carnival-themed welcome reception will be held in the ballroom for attendees to “join the who’s who of the oil and gas industry” and “greet old and new industry contacts in an entertaining, yet relaxed environment”.
Happy hour will run between 5pm and 6pm on Monday 27 May and Tuesday 28 May,as a chance for delegates to wind down after the day’s events.
The Paint the Town Red conference dinner is a more formal event, held on Tuesday 28 May, that is expected to attract about 1300 delegates and will offer attendees “the buzz of Brisbane after dark with tantalising food, fine wines and outstanding entertainment”.
On the last day of the conference and exhibition, delegates will have the chance to relax with industry colleagues and celebrate at The Last Drop farewell cocktails.
Closing the conference and exhibition week is the two-day 2013 Australian Oilfield Golf Tournament on Thursday 30 May and Friday 31 May.
First held in 1965, the tournament traditionally follows the annual conference and aims to raise $5000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
This year it will be held at the Brookwater Golf and Country Club designed by Greg Norman, and participants will be rewarded with a fully catered “executive style” golf experience.
However, not all of the networking and social events are in the evening. On Sunday 26 May, a 70km cycle tour around Brisbane will provide participants with an opportunity to enjoy the quieter side of Brisbane, escorted by experienced cycle guides.
Each morning of the three-day conference will feature a different exercise program or boot camp, a social run or walk, and Pilates and yoga.

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