Big turnout at DMP Petroleum and Geothermal Open Day

Social licence to operate was the theme of this year’s open day.
Date: Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Petroleum and Geothermal Open Day attracts strong industry presence. 

Western Australia’s annual Petroleum and Geothermal Open Day provided the perfect forum for more than 250 oil and gas industry professionals to exchange information and ideas.

Hosted by the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) the 2014 event focused on the hot topics of shale and tight gas development in the State and social licence to operate.

Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion delivered the opening address for information day held at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle on
September 11.

Guest speaker Queensland GasFields Commission Chairman John Cotter took part in a panel discussion on industry’s social licence to operate after delivering a presentation on onshore gas projects and their effect on communities.

Mr Cotter told the audience that the debate around coal seam gas and shale gas had been distorted by fear and misinformation.

He stressed the need to “bring science to the table” in debates about hydraulic fracturing, particularly in relation to groundwater, and the volume of water used in hydraulic fracturing and well development.

Mr Cotter told the audience that early and continuing community engagement by industry was crucial to the success of projects.

“As WA approaches shale production there are plenty of reasons for companies to get their engagement right,” he said.

“Not least of which are sound financial reasons. Time and again I have seen projects delayed because of a lack of attention to effective community engagement.”

DMP Director General Richard Sellers also emphasised the importance of community engagement when spoke on responsible development of the resources sector.

Petroleum Division Executive Director Jeff Haworth delivered a presentation on “CCTV” (Compliance, Consistency, Transparency, Vision).

Other presentations included acreage releases in the Canning, Southern Carnarvon and Officer basins, resource management regulations, well integrity, land access, and an update on Carbon Capture and Storage at the South West Hub.

Speaking after the event, Mr Sellers congratulated DMP staff on their efforts in presenting the popular annual open days.

“Every time I go to one of these events, I know that people from my department have laboured into the night to make sure everything is just right for the big day,” he said.

“And they do such a wonderful job on the day itself, making sure that everything runs smoothly, and being available at the many displays to talk to people.”

“I’m pleased that our Petroleum and Geothermal Open Day is a drawcard for industry.

“The informal atmosphere and well-spaced itinerary allow plenty of scope for networking during breaks and at the end of the event.”