A meeting held in Roma by the GasFields Commission which brought together about 80 business people focused on leveraging long-term opportunities for Maranoa businesses with the onshore gas industry.
The meeting, organised with Commerce Roma and Toowoomba Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE), also saw two of the region’s onshore gas proponents including Santos Vice President Trevor Brown and Australia Pacific LNG chief executive officer Page Maxson.
Feedback from the meeting was that small businesses want ongoing communication and sharing of information from the onshore gas industry about current and future workforce and supply chain opportunities.
Santos Vice President Trevor Brown acknowledged the challenges faced by the onshore gas industry when it transitioned from construction to production and the impact of low oil prices.
He said that despite some reduction in activity over the next few years, he still expects to have significant discretionary capital expenditure in the Surat Basin in the long run.
He also said that having highly reliable infrastructure and operations was critical to the success of the gas projects, in order to service global customers on an ongoing basis, which will demand money be spent in the region on operations and maintenance over coming decades.
Australia Pacific LNG CEO Page Maxson told the audience that local content was even more relevant for the operations and maintenance phase of these projects.
“Businesses who are on the ground here with the right skills will have the ability to respond more quickly and have an advantage of being able to service our needs locally,” he said.
Mr Maxson said his company had recently established a special team to assist with the interface between local business and their company’s procurement.
“They’ll tell you who to contact and how to get connected and help to improve the dialogue and information sharing in both directions. We have 90 regional businesses that are already pre-registered through our Regional Buy Program and we are continuing our efforts to make that local connection in a better way going forward,” he said.
Both proponents also committed to posting the details of all key contractors in their local shopfronts to enable local businesses to more readily identify potential supply chain partners and opportunities.