Major unconventional resources technology conference comes to Australia

19 November 2019

UQ attracts major unconventional resources technology conference to Australia

The latest science and technology applied to exploration and development of unconventional resources was profiled at the global premier conference for the sector, which this year was hosted in Brisbane 18-19 November.

It was the first time this high profile gas industry conference has been held out of the United States, recognising Australia’s leading position in the field.

The Asia Pacific Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, better known as URTeC, gathers regional and global experts, regulators and prominent researchers to share their technical know-how and technology advancements, providing new perspectives in evaluating and optimising the extraction of unconventional resources in the Asia Pacific region.

Themed “Expanding Unconventionals – Making it Happen”, it remains the most vibrant and vital event for upstream energy professionals because its collaborative platform and innovation exchange sustains and propels the industry’s ongoing success.

This year’s strong program attracted more than 400 people from 26 countries. The event kicked off with a well received keynote by Andrew McConville, the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA).  This was followed by an array of panels, e-posters and the delivery of key peer-reviewed papers by an array of leading researchers and experts in the field.

The Australian program was guided by an expert Australian team of technical program co-chairs.  This includes well known identities in the Australian natural gas sector, researchers Professor Raymond Johnson Jr. and Professor Andrew Garnett from the University of Queensland Centre for Natural Gas and David Close from Santos.

Professor Ray Johnson said that a number of sessions dealt with case histories, and others had a focus on new and emerging technologies.

“We had a lot of interest in panel session one, which brings together unconventional projects from across region in a discussion with moderators experienced in North American plays. The dialogue allowed all to see whether these cases represent new technologies or technologies transferrable from North America with reasonable certainty,” he says.

Co-chair David Close says that one of the reasons the conference garners so much interest is that unconventional gas projects require integrated solutions that bring together geosciences and engineering at the most fundamental of levels. "Hence the unique, multi-disciplinary program of URTeC is extremely relevant to all those working in unconventional projects," he says. "The innovations, efficiencies and advances that the industry has driven are nothing short of incredible and the operators, service companies, regulators, and myriad other stakeholders should be proud of that,” he says

The rise of unconventional resources in North America has been a powerful catalyst in changing the world oil and gas landscape to meet growing energy demand. Over the past decades, the industry has also witnessed increased activities in the Asia Pacific region and Eastern Hemisphere. Coal seam gas (CSG) to LNG developments in Australia, and shale gas and CSG developments in other Asia Pacific and Middle East countries have proven that unconventionals can be commercially viable in our region and have afforded an opportunity for many operating companies to further invest in developing efficient and effective techniques to recover tight gas, CSG and shale gas. Australia's work in the uncoventional gas research space is held up internationally, and Australia is recognised for leading projects, such as the world-class CSG to LNG projects - the first of their kind globally (developed during the 2010s).

Co-chair Professor Andrew Garnett says that as we continue to explore new opportunities, we must address challenges unique to the Asia Pacific region during unconventional exploration and development.

“For instance, identifying optimal techniques for challenging stress regimes and maturing logistics are keys to the industry reaching its full potential. Industry needs continuous improvement to ensure projects are internationally competitive in terms of performance, reliability and production costs,” he says.


Event Highlights
•    Technical presentations
•    Technical and ePoster sessions
•    Insights from senior executives and industry leaders in plenary and panel sessions
•    Extensive networking opportunities
•    Training courses
•    Exhibition showcasing the cutting-edge services and solutions



The event pulled together three major international societies to drive the Australian event: the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG).