Opening remarks

Perth Exhibition and Convention Centre 
Perth, Australia

Richard J. Owen

Chairman, ExxonMobil Australia

~Check against delivery~

Thank you for that introduction and thank you everyone for coming along to our Authors’ Lunch.

I’ve been walking around the conference and, as always, APPEA has assembled an amazing array of forums, speakers, presentations and papers at this conference.

It showcases how much we have achieved, and continue to achieve, as an industry.

Fifty years ago we received the first production licenses for our Gippsland Basin Joint Venture in Bass Strait.

They were for our Barracouta and Marlin gas fields, and they were the nation’s first offshore production licenses.

Half a century later, here we are on the cusp of becoming the world’s largest LNG exporter.

Now I have been in this industry long enough to appreciate what has been accomplished in that great leap forward and what it means to this nation and the world.

Like most of you here today, I know what it takes to get a gas field from an idea in a geologist’s head to first production – all the meetings, the presentations, the technical analysis, the testing, the designing, the begging, the negotiating, the submissions, the setbacks, the research & development, the spending (my God, the spending!), the learning, the measuring, the monitoring, the mentoring, the explaining and, of course, the people.

By sheer coincidence, on March 13, 50 years to the day that we received those first Production Licenses, we switched on sales gas from our new Kipper Tuna Turrum Project.

At more than $5.5 billion, this is the largest ever single investment into Australia’s domestic gas market.

This project extends the productive life of our Gippsland operations, providing on-going essential gas supplies for homes, commercial businesses, electricity and heavy industry.

Our Longford plants produce around 600 million cubic feet a day of gas. To put that into perspective, in energy terms, that’s about three times all the energy Australia currently gets from wind and solar.

Having worked all over the world, I am acutely aware of the critical role natural gas is playing globally in achieving our shared goal of meeting rising energy demand while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As an Australian, I’m really proud of what our industry here is achieving in meeting this challenge. We really are punching above our weight.

Governments around the world are faced with increasing living standards, growing energy use, and the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions. They are now realising how important natural gas is becoming for their future prosperity.

This is why we are seeing demand for natural gas growing in the long term more than any other energy source.

As a gas rich country in the fastest growing region of the world, this presents tremendous opportunities for Australia.

So, in conclusion, I want to congratulate the men and women of our oil & gas industry for 50 years of outstanding achievements.

Thank you.

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