What did we learn from the Surat Basin Expo?

With the Surat Basin becoming the focal point of an ambitious expansion of the gas industry, it is important to understand what is happening. 

The oil and gas industry is one of the most exciting sectors to work in. From IWCF well control to health and safety roles, there is a huge variety of working opportunities for people around the globe. With a range of jobs and sub-sectors available to workers, it is no wonder that much of the world relies on the industry for a large chunk of their national employment.

With more than 12,500 jobs on the horizon in the Surat Basin, it’s important to have the right oil and gas training.

However, many people believe this industry is pretty dull. The Surat Basin Expo is out to change that, while also offering a platform for workers, employers, suppliers and project leaders to communicate and collaborate. To help those who were not able to attend, here are two crucial takeaways.

1. $1 million truck showcased 

While the primary goal of the expo is to facilitate the connections between businesses within the minerals, oil and gas sectors, it is also an opportunity to showcase new and innovative products. The expo was not lacking for spectacular pieces of machinery, but what really captured the audience’s attention was the new dry-vac system.

The remotely operated dry-vac truck, one of only two German Force One MTS vehicles currently in the Southern Hemisphere, was a real showstopper. Imported by Westco Truck Sales, the $1.1 million machine is known as “Saugbagger” in Germany.

Force One Australia Technical Adviser Spiros Xypolitos explained that the truck is a revolutionary piece of machinery, up there with the introduction of the automobile.

“In Australia the non-destructive digging or non-intrusive excavation is a strict rule when one needs to dig one metre near existing underground services. So far this is performed here by hydro-excavation – a blast and vac truck will blast the ground around the service with fresh water and then suck up the mud,” he said.

However, as this creates more waste (sludge), it is not the ideal.

“Our technology does the same thing using only air … and also you don’t need one cubic metre of backfill for the hole you just dug because the extracted material is still available.”

At 16 times the speed of standard wet-vac systems in Australia, the Saugbagger is likely to be a hit in a number of industries.

The $1.1 million truck does not need a human at the wheel.
The $1.1 million truck does not need a human at the wheel.

2. Mining and energy still a force in Australia

While there is no doubt the sectors have been a facing a number of challenges over the last several years, the expo is a clear indication that incumbent companies are still an economic force.

Even with a reduction in exhibitors, the expo pulled together a variety of newly released products from more than 100 exhibitors and showcased them to over 3,000 delegates.

The industry forum was also the site for three experienced speakers to comment on current affairs and upcoming projects.

Freight Terminals CEO Michele Reynold gave the audience an update on the Interlink Inland Railport and Industrial Precinct. Ms Reynold confirmed that this major private development will see work begin in September. The project should be a major driver for businesses and complement the recently upgraded Brisbane West International Airport at Wellcamp.

Alongside Ms Reynold, Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise Senior Staffer Stacey Burrell discussed the “Access China 16 ” initiative. Ms Burrell released details about the 250-person delegation that would fly to China in October. The delegation will take part in a five-day program that aims to open up opportunities for business relationships in a wide range of sectors, such as agriculture and resources.

Finally, the keynote speaker Ben Hughes from Economx talked about the employment opportunities and strategies for the Surat Basin. With the potential for a $180 billion boom in the basin that could include over 60 major projects in the next 20 to 50 years, there is a range of employment opportunities available.

If you would like to know more about the estimated 12,500 jobs available in the Surat Basin in the future, it is important to talk to the experts at Harness today.