Q: What have been the key highlights for the industry this year?
The two highlights have to be how the industry stepped up to bolster gas supplies to the domestic market and our resilience in the face of lower oil prices.
I think the industry did an exceptional job of increasing gas supply to the domestic market in the face of unprecedented reputational challenges arising from community concerns about access to reliable and affordable energy. The industry showed it can work cooperatively with governments and customers in the national interest without the need for market interventions that hurt Australia’s ability to attract much-needed investment.
We also saw strong progress across the industry in lowering production costs and innovation to enable new sources of gas supply to be developed in a lower oil price environment. That means more gas for both domestic and export LNG markets in the future.
Q: What are your predictions for 2018?
If we can get there, the biggest game-changer for the industry in 2018 will be opening up access to new areas for gas development – particularly in NSW and the NT.
The Macarthur Basin in the NT has the potential to do for Australia what the shale gas revolution has done for America – reinvigorating industry investment and jobs on a huge scale, developing new regions of northern Australia, providing abundant, affordable energy supplies for Australian households and businesses, revitalising local manufacturing, and also growing LNG exports to take advantage of the next global supply gaps opening up in the early to mid 2020s.
The south-eastern states need gas for their communities and businesses most of all, and 2018 is the perhaps the year for them to consider how they will play their part in contributing to gas supply for the national market in the future.
I hope 2018 will be the year COAG reaches a truce in the energy and climate wars of the last decade with agreement on a bipartisan policy and regulatory framework to resolve the trifecta of energy issues – affordability, reliability and environmental sustainability.
Whatever happens, natural gas is going to play an important role in the future energy mix. Gas is the only fossil fuel that offers both supply reliability and low emissions to offset the intermittency of renewables for power generation. So I think gas and renewable energy complement each other very well. The opportunities for the industry to find new energy solutions integrating gas, renewables and storage are limited only by our imagination.
I expect 2018 will be an exciting one for our industry in this space.
Q: What do you think APPEA 2018 offers and will deliver to the industry and its stakeholders?
APPEA is Australia’s premier oil and gas conference attracting political and industry leaders to a single location every year. I’m delighted that in 2018 APPEA is coming to Adelaide in South Australia, the home of Santos and a pioneering city of the Australian oil and gas industry.
The APPEA conference is a great opportunity to share ideas, do deals, learn from one another and build strong and enduring relationships with governments, joint venture partners, contractors, customers, suppliers and service providers, researchers, industry peers, regulators and community stakeholders.
The quality of the conference speaking program is world class, enabling delegates to stay abreast of the latest industry innovations and advance their professional development.
I am also pleased that APPEA 2018 will introduce a new high school-focused education program to attract a whole new audience to the conference to learn about our industry. Ensuring today’s youth are aware of the exciting career opportunities available in the oil and gas industry is something I am personally very passionate about.
The APPEA events program is designed to facilitate networking in a relaxed and informal environment that showcases Adelaide’s exceptional food, wine and tourism venues. You might also find time to exercise in the city’s beautiful parklands or beaches, or enjoy the vibrant arts and music scene. I look forward to welcoming you all to Adelaide in 2018.
Kevin Gallagher will deliver the lead industry address at APPEA 2018, on Tuesday 15 May 2018.