04/12/2014 - 15:26

Shell backs WA energy research group

04/12/2014 - 15:26

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Shell Australia has become the third major petroleum producer to partner with Western Australia’s leading energy research group, in a move that is expected to provide a host of opportunities for local input and collaboration on the $12 billion Prelude floating liquefied natural gas project.

Shell backs WA energy research group

Shell Australia has become the third major petroleum producer to partner with Western Australia’s leading energy research group, in a move that is expected to provide a host of opportunities for local input and collaboration on the $12 billion Prelude floating liquefied natural gas project.

Shell has teamed-up with the Western Australian Energy Research Alliance, joining current partners Woodside Petroleum and Chevron Australia, to align itself with the alliance’s core research members.

WA:ERA chair David Agostini said the joint venture between The University of Western Australia, Curtin University and the CSIRO acted as a vehicle for oil and gas experts to collaborate and coordinate research integral to improving the economics of major oil and gas projects.

Mr Agostini told Business News Shell’s involvement at a time it was nearing production at its FLNG Prelude project would allow WA:ERA to capitalise on unique skill sets that would place WA at the forefront of the global gas industry.

“While Shell is not yet an operator in Western Australia, it is a major investor in Australia; it’s a partner in most of the LNG plants, and given Shell’s very long-standing expertise in LNG partnering with them is going to be very valuable to us,” Mr Agostini said.

“In Western Australia we need to get far more from the natural resources that we produce than just selling them; we need to be able to build a knowledge economy on the back of it, we need to build our technical ability to the point where we are recognised as one of the global centres of expertise in this area.

“That will give us the opportunity to provide technical support to the growing world gas industry, that will be a be a huge benefit to Western Australia in terms of jobs and being the place where the world wide industry can come and see us as the place to solve its issues.”

Shell Australia chairman Andrew Smith said the partnership would help find solutions to local issues associated with long-term remote offshore operations.

The alliance will also build on Shell's existing relationships with WA:ERA members including the Shell chair in offshore engineering partnership with UWA’s Energy and Minerals Institute, the Curtin Challenger Program, and carbon capture and storage research with the CSIRO.

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