Remote Australia: Remote Site Project Management and Community Engagement

A major oil and gas producer assumed responsibility for an extensive gas field in remote Australia following the departure of

A major oil and gas producer assumed responsibility for an extensive gas field in remote Australia following the departure of the previous smaller operator. Upon taking over the field it became evident that engineering, planning and environmental best practice, standards and legislative requirements had not been adhered to.

Significant damage had been caused to the environment, resulting in considerable community backlash and protest action from interest groups. Significant remediation and infrastructure was required to bring the field up to standard and prepare it for commercialisation and supply of gas to the Australian market.

Doug was engaged by the new owner on a contract basis to establish and deliver the necessary program of works. The new owner’s first priority was to address the outstanding environmental issues and subsequently regain regulatory and local community support for the gas field development. The second priority was to improve the material condition of the existing equipment while establishing the additional infrastructure needed to safely produce gas in commercial volumes.

In establishing the Environmental Rehabilitation Program, Doug undertook an audit of the known environmental damage and a more comprehensive assessment of compliance against all applicable legislative and regulatory requirements. The results provided a prioritised list of projects, with defined scope and success measures.

Working within a climate of civil unrest and protest action, Doug engaged closely with regulatory authorities, community stakeholders, land-owners, and environmental scientists to program manage the various projects over a period of two years.

Transparency and the use of local contractors and indigenous representatives to deliver the projects were fundamental tenets of Doug’s program delivery approach.

Concurrently, Doug also project managed several separate projects to establish the equipment and infrastructure for the gas field. This included the construction of new gas wells, roads, pipelines and water storage facilities.

Doug successfully delivered the environmental rehabilitation program that included approximately 40 hectares of rehabilitated land, disposal of over 3,000 tonnes of waste, and decommissioning of 22 non-compliant storage ponds and sumps. The stakeholder engagement enabled the restoration of a local community social licence to operate and achieved regulatory compliance.

The infrastructure projects successfully delivered a 600 ML water storage facility, a 5 ML storage tank, approximately 50km of piping and associated pumping and equipment.