speech CEDA State of the Nation 2023 speaker address
Mark Hatfield - Managing Director, Chevron Australia
CEDA State of the Nation 2023 Conference
13 June 2023
I’m very pleased to be here today.
I would like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land we meet on today and pay my respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.
And I would like to acknowledge Ministers and members of State and Federal Parliaments here today, including fellow panelist, the Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek.
For those of you who aren’t aware of Chevron, and our interests in Australia:
- we are the country’s largest producer of natural gas,
- we operate the Gorgon and Wheatstone natural gas projects in Western Australia, and
- we operate the Gorgon Carbon Capture and Storage system, also on Barrow Island.
Above all, we support homes and businesses every day through the delivery of reliable and affordable energy.
This is particularly true in Western Australia where we have the capacity to produce around 50 percent of the state’s current domestic gas supply.
Beyond our role of supplying domestic gas in WA, we also support the economic development and energy security of some of Australia’s longest-standing trading partners with the export of LNG.
While we are proud of our contribution to Australia, most notably in the economic benefits our projects provide governments and communities, we recognise our operations are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. And we’re taking action.
We intend to deliver the energy the world relies on today, while leveraging our strengths to deliver increasingly lower carbon energy in the future.
This includes the Gorgon Carbon Capture and Storage system – or CCS – which has safely stored over eight million tonnes of CO2 since mid-2019.
It’s fair to say Gorgon CCS isn’t where we want it to be, but the system is storing carbon dioxide every day at a global scale and we’re working to optimise the system as we seek to store more than 100 million tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime.
The lower carbon challenge is significant. But we have the commitment, skills and talent needed to find solutions, because the world needs energy and Australia can be a leader in providing that energy.
There are about eight billion people on the planet today, with 10 billion expected 25 years from now. We need to support the progress and prosperity of everyone.
It's easy to lose sight of the fact that most of the world doesn’t live the way we do in this country.
We lose sight of the fact that people in less developed countries are seeking to enjoy the same energy security benefits that people in more developed countries enjoy today.
They want a better roof over their head, a better education for their children and a better future for their family.
Meeting a growing world’s need for energy, and more lower carbon options, is our profound responsibility because people deserve affordable energy to create prosperity, reliable energy that supports their national security, and ever-cleaner energy that protects the environment.
We want to have an honest dialogue on how to best balance energy, economics, and environmental objectives.
We believe many forms of energy and solutions to meet future supply will be needed, including traditional sources such as natural gas as well as carbon capture, offsets and hydrogen, among many others.
Our view is that natural gas has a long-term role in providing energy as a standalone fuel, in peaking power, and to complement renewables.
Addressing the complex energy issues that we face today can’t be done by one country, or one company or one industry alone.
These challenges require partnerships with all stakeholders. But by finding solutions and working together, Australia can be a leader in a transitioning world.
This country is blessed with options including:
- high-quality natural resources as well as the geology conducive to large-scale CCS,
- close proximity and long-term relationships with key energy customers in the Asia Pacific region, and,
- experience and strong skillsets in energy that can be leveraged to deploy more CCS and develop new industries - such as hydrogen.
Australia can continue playing a leading role in providing energy security at home and across the region, including offering lower carbon solutions such as CCS.
The International Energy Agency has recently outlined four pillars for near term action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.
One of those pillars is CCS and atmospheric CO2 removal projects. They report this will be required to mitigate and compensate hard‐to‐abate emissions.(Source).
We believe Australia’s geology offers significant capacity to safely store both domestic and international CO2 emissions. And in so doing, Australia can assist others achieve their own net zero aspirations, as well as our own.
In summary, it will take all our efforts to meet our net zero aspirations and continue to provide the reliable and affordable energy the world needs.
There is no doubt expectations of our industry are changing, and we need to keep evolving if we’re to meet those expectations.
I firmly believe, we’re up to the task.