May 23, 2013 – AAP
PERTH has an opportunity to become the best oil and gas technology centre in Asia by modelling itself on major hubs in Scotland and Norway.
Some of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies continue to attract bright professionals to Western Australia and salaries in the local energy sector are now among the highest in the world.
Woodside Petroleum chief executive Peter Coleman says Perth has an opportunity to develop its technology base and become the next Aberdeen in Scotland or Stavanger in Norway, cities which service major oil and gas operations in the North Sea.
“There is absolutely nothing stopping us from being a Stavanger,” Mr Coleman has told a breakfast in Perth.
He said that five to ten years ago Perth was a sleepy hollow in terms of oil and gas, but now every major multinational oil and gas company was either in Perth or wanted to come.
“If we’re going to continue that growth wave, we need to do things differently,” Mr Coleman said.
Perth had an opportunity to develop into a technology hub for the Asian region.
“We should not give it away to Singapore, we should not give it away to Kuala Lumpur,” Mr Coleman said.
“We need to be the oil and gas technology centre.”
After years of focusing on construction, leaders needed to think about the medium-term future of Perth.
“Do I want it to look like a bunch of empty apartments because the workers have moved somewhere else?”
Recent recruitment agency surveys show Australia remains one of the top destinations for migrating professionals, with oil and gas continuing to be a growth area.
However, an analysis by recruiting agency Hays Oil & Gas shows Australian workers cost more than a third more than US workers.
Federal commodities agency Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics on Wednesday said investment in the resources sector had peaked, echoing similar statements made recently by the Reserve Bank of Australia and investment banks.