Opinion

Editor’s comment

It was interesting to see how industry-regulator relationships differed from here in Australia. The US regulators, from various jurisdictions, were willing to attend, but more as observers as compared to participants – as passive rather than active attendees.

It was, in the main, a contrast to the situation here in Australia where technical regulators appear much more engaged in the industry and willing to discuss and debate issues with those within the sector. This is not to say we have the perfect regime in Australia, but that we have a system, by and large, that serves the industry and, very importantly, the public, well.

This edition of Gas Today is the FutureGAS 2011 Conference edition. Aside from all our regular readers, the magazine will be distributed to attendees and trade visitors at the event. If this is your first time reading the magazine, we say welcome and don’t forget to subscribe to make sure you receive all the latest gas industry news.

If you are reading this before 22 March and have yet to register for FutureGAS 2011, don’t worry – there is still time. The event has grown this year to incorporate a one-day technical stream to provide information for the burgeoning ranks of engineers and technicians developing gas projects for Australia’s future. As in previous years, we cover across a wide range of issues affecting the industry in the business sessions from the projects of today to the new uses of tomorrow. We hope you will join us there – more information about the event is contained on pages 22-32.

In this edition we look at a number of areas that look to the future of the industry – from Paul Beukelman examining potential for non-conventional gas in Australia, to home refuelling for natural gas vehicles and also the Federal Government’s excise regime that will, for the first time, tax natural gas used as a transport fuel. We also look at the growing area of gas-to-liquids technology and how the Australian energy industry could incorporate this style of project to develop otherwise non-commercial gas reserves.

We spend five minutes with WestSide’s Julie Beeby, learn more about junior Finder Exploration and discuss with FutureGAS Event Partner MWM why they support the event and their plans for the future.

Two key projects in Victoria, the South Gippsland natural gas expansion project and the Kipper/Tuna gas field developments are the focus for our Victoria review. While Victoria is an “˜old hand’ in the gas industry, these developments show that that there are always new frontiers to be found.

The mega-issue of skills, training and recruitment is also discussed in this edition. We showcase the newly released Gas Today job website, we hear from Hays about the skills gap and we speak with a mix of industry stakeholders including Energy Skills Queensland, GLNG, Skills Queensland and the Gladstone Regional Council about how to pave the road ahead to have the required workforce for Queensland’s gas industry.

Finally, I would like to pass on our thoughts to all of those in Australia and New Zealand who have been battling natural disasters over recent months. While many of these events have impacted the industry, their human impact is by far and away the lasting image many of us will retain over the years ahead.

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