Review of the May Industry Dinner with keynote speaker Mike Utser, Woodside Executive
Sometime this year, Western Australia will have five LNG facilities with an expected export capacity of 49.9 mtpa adding up to a significant percentage of the World’s LNG production. The boom within the industry was driven by several factors, including the price of gas within the Asian region and Western Australia’s close proximity to the biggest markets for LNG in the world.
According to Mike Utsler, close enough to consider Perth a Centre of LNG Excellence.
“2.4 billion people live one-time zone either side of Perth’s. To put that in perspective, 100 million people live one time zone either side of Sydney.
“The current world population of 7.3 billion is expected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050 with a large portion of that increase set to come from Central and South Asia. Perth is not isolated because we can directly connect with a third of the world’s population,” said Utlser during his most recent WA Petroleum Club Industry Dinner.
It’s this exponential increase that was at the heart of Utsler’s interactive Petroleum Club presentation entitled ‘why does oil and gas matter’.
“In the last 250 years, the industrial age has been the catalyst for driving the standard of living, improvement in quality of life, longer life spans, and increase in population.
“What enabled this?
“The leading economies in WA: minerals, mining and metals,” said Utsler to a packed Petroleum Club crowd.
While the ex-Woodside Executive may be no stranger to the PCWA, his most recent presentation did carry an element of sermon as he empowered the masses to stand up and be proud of the oil and gas industry and all it has brought the modern world.
“There is a noble cause behind the backdrop of what we do today, which has enabled medical and educational breakthroughs and increases in quality and standard of life.
“Why are we in defence of what we do when the modern world wouldn’t exist without us,” questioned the Petroleum Engineer.
Though the oil and gas veteran is passionate about the industry, he's also critical of its sluggish response to collaboration, saying that the business is still talking about the need to come together despite it being a prominent topic for many years.
“We need to start speaking up, stepping up and standing out for the purpose of why we exist,” stated
He used the LNG Marine Fuel Institute, Project Symphony and Safer Together as good examples of organisations who are successfully collaborating to ‘restore the legitimacy of why we matter’.
According to Utsler, the industry should be looking for opportunities to create understanding.
“We are losing the broader population and their understanding of why the energy sector is important to the world we live in,” said Mike.
Before wrapping up the passionate presentation, Uster left the audience with a challenge to leverage, recognise and restore the legitimacy of why oil and gas matters.
“Five million people working in oil and gas support the seven billion and the basic needs and expectations of the world and its standard of living.
“Why do we matter as an industry? Because we enable the world to go around, day in day out," summarised Utsler.