Optimising Gippsland gas production through diverse experiences

Daniel Hunt, Gas Management System Engineer, details his career so far and how he found his feet in the world of engineering during his time as an intern

Always eager to find creative solutions to technical problems, a career at ExxonMobil Australia was a natural fit for Dan Hunt.

Currently the Gas Management System Engineer, he details how he found his feet in the world of engineering through his internship with ExxonMobil.

“The opportunity to apply for the internship program arose through the ExxonMobil Awards for Excellence scholarship while I was in my penultimate year. I was able to spend some one-on-one time with an ExxonMobil engineer and after having my questions answered, I knew it was the right internship program for me and was really excited when I finally received the offer letter.” 

Daniel was eventually offered a full-time position during his Vacation Program and was excited to have something lined up at the start of his final year in university.

He spent the first two and a half years of his newfound profession working as an offshore pipelines engineer where he was tasked to manage the vast pipeline network that connects all of Esso’s offshore sites to the Longford Plants.

He’s proud of the experience he gained during his time as a pipelines engineer, including a personal highlight from his involvement in the West Barracouta project that brought new gas online in 2021. He spent several weeks on a Dive Support Vessel as a client representative, during the installation of subsea equipment using saturation divers and remotely operated vehicles.

“It was a unique experience for someone in my position, not only gaining exposure to a new technical space but also a deeper understanding on the importance of safety,” he commented.

In his current role, Daniel acts as the key advisor for quantifying and optimising Esso’s gas production from the Gippsland Basin. He collaborates with teams across the entire value chain to remove system constraints and schedule critical works, ensuring that Esso remains a reliable source of energy to Australia’s east coast.

He played an essential role in assisting to find innovative ways to increase gas production by 11% last year to fill market shortfalls and put Esso Australia on track to achieve the highest gas production rates since 2017.

He’s also a huge footy fan (ask him anything about the Tiges) and loves snowboarding, surfing and golf and is always up for a chat and sharing travel stories.

“It’s been an incredible three years and I give credit to the brilliant network of colleagues and mentors I have had the opportunity to work with during my internship, who have helped me build my knowledge and understanding of the business.”

When asked what he enjoyed most about his internship, he said, “I was surprised at the amount of responsibility that I was entrusted with as an intern. I worked on the early development of a large Brownfield project, and I truly appreciated that I was given that level of autonomy as it has tremendously allowed me to develop my abilities and feel that my contributions are making a significant impact at work.”

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (Honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce, Daniel now hopes to inspire others who are looking to pursue a career in the field.

He was part of ExxonMobil’s 2023 Internship Recruitment Team, where his suggestion to extend the internship program came to fruition, leveraging his first-hand experience as a vacation student and applying what would work well in an internship program.

“The best advice I can give to future engineers is to be open, seek out conversations, actively listen and learn as much as you can. There’s an abundance of opportunities present in ExxonMobil, you just need to be open to accepting them”, he said.