The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) chief executive Andrew McConville has commended the oil and gas sector for continuing to deliver vital energy supplies, jobs and exports despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ announcement that oil and gas extraction and petroleum production can remain operating under a COVIDSafe plan, as part of the Stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire and Stage 3 in regional Victoria, the industry continues to closely monitor COVID-19 developments.
McConville outlined that it was crucial that the industry was able to plan well and this required constant application of government announced positions and early engagement on any possible changes.
“The industry-developed staff movement protocols has given government the confidence to allow us to continue to operate,” McConville said.
APPEA noted that it had played a key role in collaborating with the government, ministers and private sector with the goal of finding solutions, including protocols that had supported the movement of thousands of workers into and out of onshore and offshore oil and gas facilities.
“APPEA also continues to work closely with federal and state politicians, government departments, chief health officers and police to try and ensure the industry and the essential service it provides can continue in a climate where cross-border FIFO worker movements vary and are often changed at very short notice. The industry urges governments across the country to adopt a consistent approach wherever possible,” McConville said.
McConville believes that the Australian oil and gas industry is facing “enormous challenges” in recovering from the economic impacts of COVID-19.
The current market conditions are the most challenging the industry has ever seen, with demand destruction, excess supply and oil prices falling more than 75 per cent over the first four months of this year.
“However, there is an opportunity for the sector to help support economic recovery, especially in terms of energy supply,” McConville said.
“The industry will continue to ensure safe operations and the sustainable, continuous supply of natural gas to all Australians who rely on it in their daily lives.”