Posted: 17 May 2017 30 min. read

APPEA 2017 Daily Digest

Day Three – Relationships, regulations & reflections: The Australian Oil and Gas industry in transition  

From plenaries to concurrent sessions, conference dinners and more, Day Three continued to amplify the diversity of insights and perspectives from across the 2017 APPEA Conference.

With a large representation from across the sector, it was timely to address the opportunities and challenges around cleaner energy, a better environment and efficient productivity. Speakers articulated the need for us all to be in a position of continuing to develop and deliver on our strategies as an industry – to shape the future of energy.

We have come full circle at the conference – with a focus on Energy in Transition. The conference has really brought together a range of experts – to create a hub of innovation, exploration, relationship building, creativity and the sharing of learnings and best practices.

Here are the Top 10 insights and themes discussed, debated and distilled by speakers as Day Three progressed:
Insight #1: A focus on the future

We are at a turning point. The Oil and Gas industry needs to grapple with a range of topics that we need to all work together on in order to create solutions and ideas to shape the roadmap forward. As you wander around the exhibition hall, the true power of the conference has been the ability for delegates to not only hear plenary and concurrent sessions, but to also connect directly with stakeholders and leaders from across the industry at their specific booths. With a hub of energy and activity occurring across the exhibition hall each day, it has been this connectivity and sense of sharing insights that has meant people can debate and explore the range of issues facing the energy landscape of today and the evolving terrain of tomorrow.

Insight #2: Ready, set, collaborate

Oil and Gas is certainly on the daily business agenda. From headlines to commentary, it’s clear that the energy landscape is being discussed and debated across the community. Shaping the future, dealing with domestic and international issues, and coming up with new ideas all takes significant collaboration. We all have a role to play in working together to solve the challenges. As elected leaders from different organisations, we all need to have a meaningful role in bridging the gap around conversations – to be able to face the challenges head on and to continue with building relationships and rapport across the industry.

Insight #3: Pricing, regulation & policies

What are people willing to pay? When you combine community expectation with that of gas pricing, there are frank discussions that need to be had around pricing concerns. In order for the industry to flourish and reach its true potential, it was mentioned that there might need to be compromise. The extent to which this meets public expectation is yet to be determined.

Industry and governments need to work together – along with community involvement There was also talk around transparency and open dialogue – in order to be receptive to big ideas and novel conversations that progresses the conversation on energy security. Partnering effectively will be key – to collaborate and share expertise – both locally and globally.

Insight #4: Steps towards achieving diversity & inclusion targets

Speakers on Day Three also referred to the previous day’s theme around diversity. It certainly resonated with attendees and the conversation is continuing. There is a clear demonstration around the good work being done and the plans that continue to be put in place. There is a great momentum happening across the sector in bringing to life the opportunities that diversity can offer. As conference attendees wrap up their daily discussions, these conversations will undoubtedly continue in workplaces across the country – as leaders put diversity and inclusion under the spotlight.

Insight #5: Diversification

Speakers brought to life a focus on the fact that people want and need more clean energy. Companies will need to re-think their business model. It’s all about diversification and meeting the needs of the future – with the present rapidly changing and evolving daily. This means that organisations will need to keep well ahead of the game in order to continue putting their best energy and business foot forward.

It’s about asking the right questions around: How will global transitions and the future impact your business model? What is your ideal way of doing business? Considering special criteria for investment decisions in your strategy? And your outlook on the next phase of the oil and gas landscape? And what about innovation? These topics are all fuelling debate and discussion.

Insight #6: Digital developments

Digital has become a key driver of change. Sessions today mentioned that a few years ago we might have been talking about peak oil and then supply. Now there has been a complete change. We can see that there are discovered resources that have ample supplies. It was explained that technology means that we are in a world of oil abundance. This shift has meant that lower cost oil and faster development times, together with a more critical demand side from businesses and social communities have significant impacts.

What does this mean for Australian developments? Digitisation, big data, enhanced oil recovery and technologies will change the face of doing business conventionally. Digital is definitely rising to the top of the agenda – playing a key role across the energy industry.

Insight #7: The only constant is change

Today’s sessions were also very reflective. Speakers looked at the history and the process of transition. There was acknowledgment that there has never been “business as usual” and we have been in a period of constant change and development.

With change comes uncertainty, but by looking at the opportunities – often powered by digital and innovation – the new landscape can create a range of solutions. The word transition was explored and it features in almost every energy debate. In today’s market, speakers noted that we are faced with a smorgasbord of energy solutions. Energy is growing and evolving as entrepreneurs, researchers and laboratories get involved in tackling these issues.

Insight #8: What role will you play?

Playing a role – both domestically and globally is fundamental. There needs to be a focus on participating in these topics. Commentary focused on the fact that more can be done to support explorers and producers.

When it comes to the role of regulation, policy can be harnessed to provide positive outcomes. Clear and stable regulation based on solid planning can provide industry and businesses with the opportunity to deliver on broader energy goals.

To hold on to our place in the energy mix, it was clear that innovation is key. Sharing infrastructure with transparency and information will be crucial. By addressing opportunities, better outcomes can be achieved for the sector, stakeholders and customers.

Insight #9: Flexibility, adaptability & fluidity

With the theme of transition weaving its way into all areas of the conference, it’s clear that organisations will need to have a flexible mindset and approach. This is not the time to sit still. From discussions about sources to the investment in research, leaders across the industry will need to bring people along for the journey – empowering, inspiring and motivating their teams.

Insight #10: Building relationships & rapport

What is definitely apparent at the conference is the sheer diversity of stakeholders across the energy, oil and gas industry. Speakers reflected on the need to continue to build rapport across the board, ensuring that we strive for a balance where people are heard, topics are debated and pro-active solutions are formed – to continue the pace and energy of the sector’s development.

Where does the future of the Australian landscape sit? It’s a focus on being competitive – across cost, innovation, solutions and more. There needs to be continued attention on attracting and retaining talent, as well as building a long term resource pool.

By thinking from new perspectives, opportunities can be formed and possibilities are endless across the oil and gas landscape. Re-evaluating processes and relationships will be critical – all powered by collaboration. There will be many challenges – but if we can collectively be nimble, agile and flexible – the opportunities are there for the taking.

What’s next?

Well, while we are at Day Three, the conversation has only just begun! All of the themes, insights and perspectives raised at the 2017 APPEA Conference have fuelled an on-going dialogue – as we all debate, create and innovate.

Thank you to all the wonderful speakers, presenters, delegates and all those behind the scenes who are involving in creating a conference that paints a powerful picture of the energy landscape.

Be sure to tune in to social media where you can keep up to date with all the ‘real time’ insights as they occur and are debated. For all the latest insights, including the APPEA Daily Digest, follow @APPEACONFERENCE on Twitter and APPEA on LinkedIn.

Day Two – Diversity, data and discovery: the evolving face of energy inclusion

How diverse is your organisation? Day Two of the APPEA 2017 Conference continued to raise the bar on powerful perspectives and market leading insights – starting the day with the spotlight on diversity and inclusion.

Today’s sessions brought to life a rich tapestry of insights around culture, workplaces and the changing oil and gas landscape. The headline theme of diversity shaped valuable conversations about what we all can be doing to work collaboratively on this critical issue, with questions around:

Do quotas work? What does inclusiveness really mean, and how does it differ from diversity? What is the economic dividend of diversity and inclusiveness? Can changing your workforce diversity really change your future?

From improving profitability, reputation and effectiveness to cultivating a dynamic culture of inclusion and potential, perspectives and increasing numbers of hard data points were shared by those representing the industry and the wider community.

Here are the Top 10 insights and themes discussed and debated by speakers as Day Two unfolded:
Insight #1: Committed leadership is required

It’s important that we challenge ourselves in debating and discussing issues around diversity – and it all starts with leadership. We all need to lead the change and diversity is a necessary precondition for commercial success. A generation ago we dealt with safety issues – with a strong intent and focus. It can be seen that we need to apply the same dedication and determination to change our organisational culture to enable more diverse and inclusive workplaces. It is not only the right thing to do, it is in our wider community and economic interest.

Insight #2: The journey has started and it’s time to get involved

Are you on board with your organisation’s diversity and inclusion journey? There is more to be done and it all starts right now. Organisations might be at different stages of their diversity journey but the roadmap is evolving and continuing.

How do we change entrenched cultures? How do we change our focus? What is the right path? Through constant questioning, we are able to identify the leadership requirements, the motivation and the tools to make a diversity journey a success. Removing barriers is what it’s all about. As an industry we demonstrate an ability to meet complicated challenges through collaboration and connectivity – and these same principles can be used on our journey through embracing and enhancing diversity.

Insight #3: A culture of inclusion

What does diversity and inclusion actually mean? Clough’s presentation featured a great statement around: “Diversity is being picked for the side. Inclusion is running out to play” – bringing to life the way in which these two fundamental words can work together.

There is a strength that comes through diversity. An ability to see things with a new lens. The benefit around diversity is that it breeds innovation and innovation breeds success. BHP have found that their sites that showed higher level of diversity and inclusion had 15% lower turnover, and delivered 17% higher production standards. It was discussed that companies are more likely to have better returns when they are actively engaged with the topic of diversity through a range of frameworks, strategies, ideas, policies and programs.

Insight #4: Unlocking the benefits – diversity of thinking

It was clear from sessions and discussions today that we need to challenge mindsets and approaches. We need to change the way we do things. A diverse pool of engineers, tradespeople and employees means that new solutions can be uncovered. There needs to be more investment in diversity and inclusive leadership.

A key component is the way that we approach talent and recruitment – and the resource pool can be enhanced and improved through marketing, debate, dialogue and conversation. The workplace needs to be made more attractive to each potential employee – so that we can bring people into the workforce and retain them as well. There needs to be a commitment and enthusiasm to unlock the benefits of true inclusion.

Insight #5: Reach your full potential

Diversity is moving front and centre stage on the business agenda and it can help unleash the potential of everyone involved across the sector, particularly when combined with an appropriately inclusive culture. To achieve an aspirational and diverse workforce, there is far more work to be done. Diversity is wider than just gender and outcomes require more than just checking boxes and meeting targets. It might be female participation in the workforce but it also means ways of life and culture and a focus on diversity of input and thought. There is now a firm understanding around the benefits of diversity in reaching full potential – for an organisation and individuals.

Insight #6: The data of diversity

How do we measure performance around safety and financials? We focus on data and metrics. Creating a diverse and inclusive environment is key and data can help to fuel this change and solidify successful implementation. There is a compelling case around the fact that an inclusive and diverse workforce has significant business benefits. We can see that those who invest in diversity and drive an inclusive work environment are more innovative, they have higher retention and employee engagement.

Insight #7: Global reach, local excellence

As the oil and gas landscape evolves, it’s important to lift the gaze and look both globally, as well as locally. When it comes to best practice techniques and frameworks around diversity and inclusion, as well as the complementary topics of innovation and creativity, then having a broad view is critical. By connecting with colleagues across a network of offices, issues can be addressed and solutions workshopped – in order to cultivate a culture of inclusivity, growth and connectivity.

Insight #8: From diversity to digital

Technological productivity and innovation can fuel the oil and gas industry. And in addition to that, session insights revealed that we need to tap into the next wave of innovation by harnessing the power of people. Digital disruption can cause havoc or it can fuel innovation – but having a broad mix of people can mean that different perspectives can help find practical outcomes. Diversity is fundamental in leaping across any obstacles that digital might pose as it can encourage diversity of thought which can positively impact the ability for organisations to uncover solutions.

Insight #9: The changing face of oil and gas

It was revealed during today’s session that “Group Think” can offer be one of the biggest dangers on the landscape. By thinking the same, acting the same and doing things the same way, diversity and creativity are quashed. It’s fundamental that as we continue to debate and discuss these topics, we move towards a place where everyone is being equally valued – to ensure that people can bring their authentic selves to work and contribute to discussions in a productive and proactive manner.

Insight #10: Learning from our approach to safety  

The safety journey is a good comparison. With some sessions focused on creating a sustainable and structured approach to process safety, it can be seen that developing the right competencies and framework is critical. By ensuring that the right mindset and behaviours are leveraged, better outcomes can be achieved. This same dedication, commitment and focus on safety can and should be applied to diversity – to ensure that it moves front and centre stage.

Extra reading?

The unintended consequences of the Australian LNG revolution – by Bernadette Cullinane.

Want to know more? By tuning in to social media, you can keep up to date with all the ‘real time’ insights as they occur and are debated. For all the latest insights, including the APPEA Daily Digest, follow @APPEACONFERENCE on Twitter and APPEA on LinkedIn.

Day One – Energy, enthusiasm and expectation: a changing landscape of risk and opportunity

Over 2000 delegates. 200+ companies. And a plethora of plenaries and concurrent sessions. The first day of the 2017 APPEA Conference brought to life the diversity of issues, challenges and opportunities facing the energy landscape.

From powerful posters to industry experts, there has been a great sense of energy, buzz and excitement across the conference, as networking leads to anecdotes and a sense of collaboration. From case studies to Q&As, there was a wealth of information explored – ready to be distilled and analysed.

Here are the Top 10 insights and themes discussed and debated by speakers as Day One unfolded:
Insight #1: Collaboration is key

There is definitely a feeling of collaboration in the air. With more than 25 keynote speakers and over 110 speakers across the three-day conference, there is ample time for networking, connectivity and collaboration. As one walks around the sessions and conference centre it’s inspiring to see over 200 companies exhibiting – each with their own story around challenges and opportunities.

With representatives from oil and gas producers from Australia and overseas, industry product manufacturers and service providers, energy consultants, international, federal, state and local government representatives, industry association members, research and education – there is a distinct sense that everyone has their role to play.

Insight #2: A spotlight on local

Social licence is moving front and centre stage. The future operation of the sector in WA hinges on social licence, which is defined by the State Government as creating local jobs and apprenticeships, local content and local gas. In the morning plenary session which focused on “Energy in transition”, operators were urged by the Premier to think about how projects can fulfil these three aspects.

The Premier is acutely aware of the sovereign risk issues facing the State and the nation with regard to Oil & Gas development. The session also revealed how the Oil & Gas sector has been critical to WA in terms of creating jobs, wealth and energy security.

Insight #3: The cost factor

All parts of industry are suffering from high energy prices – from large manufacturers to dairy farmers and laundromats. This pervasive cost impact may underlie the Government’s recently announced policy to pursue a gas export licensing system, with the Minister noting the need for our rich availability of natural gas to add value to own economic needs.

A slew of measures are being explored by the Government – as announced in the recent Federal Budget. One of particular interest to WA is the investigation into tapping gas sources in WA and SA for supply to the east coast, and by what means, with pipeline connectivity to be considered.

The existing moratoriums on unconventional gas development defies science and is particularly pointed amidst the current supply shortages in the domestic market.

Insight #4: Competitiveness is key

Four fundamental principles were explored by The Minister for Resources. This focused on how Government plays a role in selling the benefits of the industry to the rest of the country. There also needs to be a focus on Australia maintaining competitiveness across the world and continuing to be a place for attractive investment. We must collectively ensure the resource industry maintains its historical role in creating jobs and importantly, we must contribute to our own energy and resource needs locally in Australia.

Insight #5: Community engagement

Today’s plenary session also revealed that the industry is at a critical juncture. It’s time for a re-think on how the Oil & Gas sector engages with the community. The current energy supply constraints being experienced in Australia risks the community viewing the sector as part of the problem, rather than the solution.

The solution? Well, the industry must acknowledge that some of the resources produced must be made available to the local market at an affordable price. While this may defy economics, it must be acknowledged that market mechanisms do not always work in small market environments.

It was explored that now is the time for the Oil & Gas sector to unite and define a common purpose – in particular to articulate how the community benefits from the use of these resources – and reiterate the industry’s understanding that these resources belong to the community – not the operators.

Insight #6: Trump terrain

There have been some positive signals and strong focus on encouraging infrastructure spending. Most of all, just last week Mr Trump and the administration have made some positive statements around China and the market accessibility for China.

It was discussed that the US administration is a force for good and for the LNG market overall. There are positive signs on strengthening relationships between USA and China around LNG.

Insight #7: Responsibilities across Oil & Gas

Responsibility and accountability: what does it mean and who is involved? Today’s commentary explored that participants in the industry need to convey to the community that the industry understands that they own the resources, and commit to being responsible stewards of the environment.

It can also be seen that the industry has a responsibility to make a contribution to energy security, as well as a social contribution and an economic contribution, including through creation of jobs and payment of taxes. The entire Industry also needs to also consider how it can regain public trust and to work collectively on for example codes of conduct around land access and use that recognises landowners’ concerns.

Insight #8: Supporting the industry

APPEA has been advocating long term policies to protect sustainable environment. Today’s discussion put a spotlight on three key components around:

Access to resources – and the fact that onshore projects must co-exist with farming / agriculture.

Competitiveness – we must strive to ensure that Australian energy is competitively priced, and recognise our role in shaping tax, fiscal, greenhouse policy and other issues affecting the competitiveness of Australia’s liquefied natural gas exports.

Industry reputation – it’s important that we continue to build the reputation of our industry and defend against campaigns working to strip out our legitimacy as an industry.

Insight #9: Fuel for thought

Today’s sessions really laid out the groundwork for the remaining two days. It is clear that there is a lot of robust debate and discussion to be had across all areas of the energy landscape. There’s definitely a wonderful buzz across the conference floor, with dialogue and discussion happening – from the plenaries to the concurrent sessions and more.

It’s clear that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” – Aristotle. Each and every participant, exhibitor and speaker at the conference forms an integral part of a much bigger tapestry. A rich dialogue of insights and perspectives – that come together as whole to paint a powerful picture of the oil and gas landscape.

Insight #10: Social media is where it’s at

The insights we have explored here are only the tip of the iceberg. By tuning in to social media, you can keep up to date with all the ‘real time’ insights as they occur and are debated. What does Day Two have in store? Well, join in the #APPEA2017 conversation. For all the latest insights and updates, including the APPEA Daily Digest, follow @APPEACONFERENCE on Twitter and APPEA on LinkedIn.

APPEA Daily brought to you by APPEA and Deloitte – Official Social Media Partner of #APPEA2017.

More about the authors

Bernadette Cullinane

Bernadette Cullinane

Partner, Consulting

Bernadette is the Deloitte Australia Oil, Gas & Chemicals Leader and Global LNG Leader. She has worked with companies in the upstream, downstream, midstream, LNG and trading segments, conventional and unconventional resources and across the end to end project to operations lifecycle. Bernadette has a comprehensive understanding of the Australian and global oil and gas industry, its challenges and future directions as well as the overarching policy and regulatory framework in which the industry operates. Professional Experience: Bernadette supports Australian and international companies improve business performance, implement growth strategies, and transition to a decarbonising economy where LNG and electricity play increasing roles. Bernadette is an active speaker in oil and gas industry conferences and frequently writes about the competitiveness of the Australian oil and gas/LNG industry.  Qualifications and Professional Memberships Fellow, Institution of Engineers Australia (FIEAust) Graduate, Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) Director of METS Ignited, and Chair of the METS Ignited Audit Committee Board of Governors and Life Member, Energy Club of Western Australia APPEA Technical Program Committee member (2019, 2020 and 2021) Organising committee member of AOG Energy Industry Supply Forum (since 2013) Member of SPE and Chair of SPE APOGCE 2020 (Oct 2020) and SPE Emissions Management Workshop (Sep 2020) Founding board member of Women in Oil and Gas in Australia Master of Business Administration, Columbia Business School, New York, USA Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, University of Houston, Texas, USA Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware, Delaware, USA Prior to joining Deloitte, Bernadette was Managing Director for Energy in Accenture’s Perth practice and APAC Energy Lead from 2007 to November 2016. She has also held senior global oil and gas operational and consulting roles with Exxon Company International, Esso Singapore, Arthur Andersen and SAIC.