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APPEA, the body representing Australia’s oil and gas industry, is stepping up its communications campaign to highlight the benefits of prospective oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight – and the safeguards in place to ensure the environment and community are protected at all times.

The TV and social media campaign highlights supportive views of community leaders towards exploration in the Bight and their concerns to ensure the environment, other industries and coastal communities are protected.

The videos feature former Port Lincoln mayor Bruce Green and Smoky Bay oyster grower Bruce Zippel.

Click to view videos

Supporting exploration in the Great Australian Bight - part 1 - YouTube
Supporting exploration in the Great Australian Bight - part 2 - YouTube

Bruce Green, who was mayor of Port Lincoln from 2010-2018, highlights the area’s history of turning the region’s natural resources into economic activity, and argues oil exploration and development could be the next industry to provide a significant boost to the local community – provided environmental safeguards are in place.

“We need to have surety that our community will be protected as much as it possibly can be,” Mr Green says. “But the upside of this development could be transformational for us.”

Bruce Zippel, who has farmed oysters in Smoky Bay for 30 years, is chair of Oysters Australia and a past chair of the national and SA aquaculture councils. He stresses the importance of the environment to the oyster industry.

“I wouldn’t support anything that had a negative impact on our business or the environment,” Mr Zippel says. “I think it’s incredibly important for Australia to know whether or not there is a significant oil resource out in the Great Australian Bight – and is important to know if it can be accessed safely.

“If NOPSEMA determine that all of the safety checks are met, that all of the environmental regulations are met, I am quite happy that exploration for oil in the Bight can be done safely without any impact on our industry.”

A report commissioned by APPEA last year found successful oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight could see the creation of more than 2,000 jobs in South Australia and generate over $7 billion in average annual tax revenue to Federal and State governments over the next four decades.

The benefits of this activity would also be widely spread, including in key regional centres such as Port Lincoln and Ceduna, where onshore facilities and services were likely to be based.

The activity will only proceed after thorough environmental assessment and following extensive community consultation.

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Oil and gas industry leaders, regulators and representatives of southeast Australia’s seafood industry met in Melbourne on November 16 for a regional workshop discussing collaboration and cooperation in offshore areas.

The 40 attendees at the APPEA/Seafood Industry Association (SIA) workshop learned about regulatory frameworks under which both sectors operate and identified areas for improvement in consultation, science and cooperation.

The oil and gas industry operators and fishers, located in the offshore waters of Victoria and Tasmania, focused on several areas to:

  • Provide a foundation for building relationships between the fishing and petroleum industries.
  • Identify improvements to consultation processes between Victoria/Tasmania fishers and petroleum/geophysical companies.
  • Agree on practical approaches for issues to be identified, prioritised and progressed outside of the Environment Plan assessment process.

Some of the key issues discussed included fisheries and petroleum regulation, the reliability of information to understand historic fishing and petroleum interactions, risk management, interpretations of science and understanding noise impacts on the marine environment.

APPEA sincerely thanked the SIA, NERA for facilitation and other key stakeholders for attending the workshop.  Another round table meeting is planned for 2019.

For more information please contact Keld Knudsen: kknudsen@appea.com.au

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The presentation of the 2018 Tony Noon Memorial Scholarship was made to Brennan O’Connell, a PhD student from the University of Melbourne, on November 29 in Melbourne.

Presented by APPEA Board Member Richard Owen, ExxonMobil Australia Chairman, the prestigious scholarship is offered each year by the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association.

This annual scholarship provides a one-off grant to the value of $3,000.

This award is also aimed at helping students who are aspiring to a career in the upstream petroleum industry.

Ms O’Connell was awarded the scholarship for her impressive research on characterising the evolution of paralic tidal deposits.

During the presentation, Mr Owen said he was delighted to present the award on behalf of APPEA.

“It is fundamentally important to recognise and encourage the next generation of talent to position our industry for future growth and success,” Mr Owen said.

This oil and gas industry is fully committed to promoting excellence and innovation across Australia’s academic institutions.

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Australia’s oil and gas industry has an unwavering commitment to the highest environment, health and safety standards.

Proactive environment and safety management measures are now embedded into the day-to-day existence of Australia’s innovative oil and gas industry.

APPEA’s Environment and Safety Excellence Awards aim to reflect and support the safety and environmental principles and leadership of the Australian oil and gas industry by highlighting outstanding examples of performance.

The company that wins an APPEA Safety or Environment Award will be a visible example of these principles being “lived” and serve as a role model for others in the industry.

Download Call for Submissions Information PDF

Four award categories are now available – (click to download submission templates):

Key information and materials are outlined below:

  • The awards are open to all APPEA member companies
  • Submissions close 15 March 2019
  • Submissions must be emailed to hseawards@appea.com.au
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Notice of Meeting
Notice is hereby given that the Fifty-eighth Annual General Meeting of the Australian
Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Limited (APPEA) will be held The Westin, 480 Hay Street, Perth, Western Australia on Wednesday 7 November at 4.15pm.

Ordinary Business
1. Apologies.
2. Notice of Meeting.
3. Minutes from the Previous Annual General Meeting.
4. Chairman’s Address.
5. To receive the Annual Report of the Board, and the audited Financial Report for the
financial year ended 30 June 2018 together with the Directors’ Report and the
Independent Audit Report thereon.
6. To elect Directors:
Election of Directors, if required, will be made by electronic or postal vote and the ballot
papers will be despatched by 26 October in accordance with Article 7.7 of the
Constitution of the Company if a ballot is required.
7. To transact any other business in accordance with the Constitution of the Company.

By Order of the APPEA Board.

Read official notice of APPEA Annual General Meeting

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The publication of a ‘netback’ pricing series by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for liquefied natural gas (LNG) provides some additional information for stakeholders in relation to export gas prices.

Very importantly, and as the ACCC has emphasised in releasing the series, it is not “… setting a level of gas prices in the east coast gas market or any other market in Australia.”

The following APPEA Fact Sheet provides an industry perspective on LNG netback pricing issues and some background to assist in understanding and interpreting the series released by the ACCC.

The ACCC’s netback pricing series can be found here.

An LNG netback price is a pricing concept – not a direct price that can be observed in the gas market – based on an effective price to the producer or seller at a specific location, calculated by taking the delivered price paid for gas and subtracting or ‘netting back’ costs incurred between the specific location and the delivery point of the gas.

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Central Petroleum operator Gary Armstrong has described the opportunity the oil and gas industry is creating for Aboriginal Territorians, in a new video produced by APPEA.

Gary is a Southern Arrente/Luritija man who works at Central Petroleum’s Mereenie and Palm Valley gas fields west of Alice Springs. He is a Traditional Owner from areas adjoining the gas fields, which have supplied natural gas to Territorians for over 30 years.

“The oil and gas industry is certainly opening up more opportunities for Aboriginal people,” Gary says in the video. “It’s given me a steady income. It’s made a better life for me and my family.”

The Central gas fields, which from the early 1980s to 2006 supplied virtually all of Darwin’s gas supply and are now targeting sending gas to the about-to-be-opened Tennant Creek to Mt Isa pipeline, were for many years operated, staffed and serviced from South Australia.

With Central as the operator, fully FIFO operations have ceased and now 2/3 of the Northern Territory operations staff are locally employed. Approximately half of those are Aboriginal, including Traditional Owners working on country.

The continued development of the Northern Territory’s onshore natural gas resources promises to create significant employment and training opportunities and new income streams for Aboriginal Territorians.

“The people we work with and the company do respect the Aboriginal people and the land,” Gary Armstrong says. “I’d like to see more opportunities for Aboriginal people to get into the oil and gas industry in the Northern Territory.”

Click below to view the video

Oil and gas benefits for Aboriginal Territorians - YouTube

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Pursuant to APPEA’s Constitution, Directors are required to retire every two years on a rotational basis and may stand for re-election at that time.  In addition, Directors must also retire and may stand for re-election if they were appointed to fill a casual vacancy during the year.  This year, eight (8) vacancies have arisen from the 16 member board.  These vacancies will be filled by nomination and by election if required, with the results to be announced at the APPEA Annual General Meeting on 7 November 2018 in Perth.

Retiring Directors are:

  1. Brett Darley, Quadrant (retiring due to rotation)
  2. Ernie Delfos, Eni (retiring due to rotation)
  3. Peter Fairclough, Chevron (retiring due to rotation)
  4. Bruce Lake, Vermilion (retiring due to rotation)
  5. Emil Ismayilov, BP (retiring due to casual vacancy)
  6. Emmanuelle Tutenuit, Total (retiring due to casual vacancy)
  7. Wendy King. ConocoPhillips (retiring due to ballot)
  8. Brett Woods, Santos (retiring)

Nominations are therefore called to fill the eight (8) vacancies on the APPEA Board.  If the number of nominations is more than the number of vacancies to be filled, an election by ballot of all Full Members must take place.  Voting closes at 12 midday AEDT on 5 November 2018.

Any Full Member company may nominate a candidate for election.  Please contact Cath Sutton for a nomination form.  The nomination of any person for election to the Board must be in writing and signed by a Full Member and the candidate.  Nominations must be received by the Company Secretary by 12 midday AEDT on 24 October 2018, either by email to csutton@appea.com.au, or by mail.

The role of the APPEA Board is to operate at the highest level of policy and to set and steer the overall strategic direction of the Association.  Nominees are therefore expected to hold the most senior position within the nominating company and at least be the equivalent of the CEO of the oil and gas exploration and production business in cases where the company concerned has multiple businesses.

Your attention is drawn to Article 6.8(b) of the Constitution that states that “a Full Member is entitled to exercise a right to vote at a general meeting only if all monies payable by the Full Member to the Company have been paid”.

For further information on what is involved in being a Director, please contact Cath Sutton, Company Secretary direct by phone (02) 6267 0909, by mail GPO Box 2201 Canberra ACT 2601, or by email to csutton@appea.com.au.

Read a PDF version

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By Matthew Doman

This week we saw another attempt to hijack our energy debate by declared opponents of resource development.

Some activists, academics and former politicians led by the Australia Institute tried to convince West Australians that, despite their state’s long and proud track record of developing mineral and petroleum resources, an  onshore gas industry was a step too far.

No one should be surprised the Australia Institute is opposing new gas projects in regional WA.

The Australia Institute opposes all gas projects everywhere.

The Institute ignores the fact that natural gas is essential for secure electricity supply and for making hundreds of products needed every day by Australians.

In WA, gas is used to generate about 50 per cent of the state’s electricity. Demand for gas is continuing to grow.

Developing local gas supplies underpins thousands of jobs across the manufacturing and resources sectors.

Traditional owners and communities across regional WA support local gas projects.  Again, all facts ignored by the Australia Institute.

There are many points to be made about the importance of natural gas but among them are:

  • Natural gas has a critical role in lowering our carbon emissions and enabling the greater integration of renewables into our energy mix.
  • With the majority of Australia’s electricity coming from coal, greater use of gas-fired power can contribute to a reduction in our near-term carbon emissions.
  • That means developing onshore gas fields in WA – alongside continued development of the state’s abundant offshore gas resources – could play a significant role in reducing our carbon footprint.
  • Every analysis by credible experts shows that natural gas is essential to delivering reliable, cleaner energy over the next 20 years.
  • Experience in countries such as the US shows that the most significant opportunity available today to curb emissions is replacing coal-fired power with gas-fired generation. It is a shift which can cut emissions by 50 per cent or more, without jeopardising energy security.
  • The increased US gas production from fracking has also seen a dramatic reduction in gas prices there.
  • The reality is we cannot move to total reliance on renewables overnight, and there’s an ongoing need for gas.

In Perth this week, the Australia Institute hardly bothered to recycle their usual, misleading claims about hydraulic fracturing.

After 13 public inquiries which have found that, properly regulated, hydraulic fracturing is a safe process, it is becoming more and more difficult to make these claims.

Presumably, the Institute is expecting that the fourteenth inquiry – the major, independent review just submitted to the WA government – will reach the same conclusions as past inquiries.

The Australia Institute has not waited to see the inquiry report before launching its attack.

Instead, the Australia Institute is calling for a ban on what will be small regional gas projects, implausibly claiming that the very modest emissions from these projects – a tiny fraction of WA’s emissions – will have global impacts.

This ideological activism should be called out for what it is rather than presented as an independent, expert or even scientific contribution to our energy debate.

Matthew Doman is APPEA’s Director – External Relations

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APPEA has awarded former long standing Board Director and Melbana Energy executive, Peter Stickland, honorary life membership in recognition of his distinguished contribution to the Australian oil and gas industry.

Announcing the award at the APPEA 2018 Conference dinner on Wednesday evening, APPEA Director and Buru Energy Executive Chairman, Eric Streitberg, said Mr Stickland has been a passionate supporter of small and medium-sized companies in the Australian oil and gas industry.

“Peter has been a strong voice on the APPEA Board ensuring that all parts of the industry, large and small, are considered as part of APPEA’s advocacy,” Mr Streitberg said.

“His peers hold Peter in high regard. APPEA’s Board is pleased to award him honorary life membership of our association.”

Mr Stickland’s association with APPEA goes back to 1998 when he prepared and presented a peer-reviewed technical paper at that year’s APPEA Conference.

He was an APPEA Board Director for almost nine years and has been a member of APPEA’s Exploration Committee for nearly two decades, including seven years as Chair.

From 1990 until 2005, Mr Stickland was an exploration section leader in BHP Petroleum. He joined Tap Oil in 2005 as Exploration Manager and was Tap’s CEO from 2008 until late 2010. He then joined MEO Australia as Exploration Manager. In January 2015, he assumed the role of Managing Director and Chief Executive and led the company’s reformation as Melbana Energy.

Mr Stickland recently stepped down as Melbana’s CEO, but is continuing with the company as a non-executive director and consultant.

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