Perth is fast becoming the regional headquarters of companies
serving the rapidly growing Australian and Asian petroleum industries
A multi-billion-dollar international investment program now underway is transforming Western Australia into a major oil and gas producing state, and making the region the prime location for Asia-Pacific petroleum industry management and administration. Western Australia is a long way from anywhere, but well worth the trip. At its focal point is Perth, the cosmopolitan capital of this remarkable amalgam of modern society and state-of-the-art industry with the ancient aborigine life and stark natural spectacle of the outback.
According to Western Australia's Deputy Premier Hendy Cowan, "For the petroleum industry, the South China Sea, Timor Sea, and Western Australia's Northwest Shelf, is where the action is, and Perth is the city best able to meet the needs of such a sophisticated industry - at the most economical price. It is also a city which provides a top quality environment, superb working conditions, and the best in housing, education, health, entertainment, and leisure activities."
Called the most isolated city in the world, Perth is indeed a wonderful panoply of soaring office spires and verdant parks, of pleasant hillside homes and well organized industrial reserves. Its freeways twist and turn to connect the various neighborhoods with the city center, skirting the spectacular Swan River and parliament hill to make easy access to any part of the metropolitan area a matter of minutes.
Most importantly, it's a city on a human level. Perth has a population of just 1.3 million, who enjoy the remarkable lifestyle the city has to offer. At its center, almost every important building is within walking distance - nearly every player in the Australian offshore petroleum industry offices along St. George's Terrace, Perth's principal downtown street - and excellent public transportation is available when the walk is too long or the distance too great.
The Mediterran-ean climate, flowering trees and shrubs, palm-lined esplanades and eucalyptus-filled parks; the red-tile rooftops, suburban stretches of sunny fields and wildflowers; and the people themselves make Perth a beautiful place to visit but better still, a wonderful place to live and work.
Beyond its environs, Western Australia extends to encompass a third of the Australian continent - from the sheep-grazed rolling hills and vinyards of the south to the lunar-like goldfields east of Perth and the wild northern frontier of the Pilbara, with its iron-red rock screes and miles of scrub brush, kangaroos and cockatoos.
Offshore this wild frontier, in the Northwest Shelf's Carnarvon Basin, huge reserves of oil have been discovered and are being developed and produced at a rapid pace. In just the last decade, enormous fields of gas and condensate have also been found that are thrusting Western Australia into the forefront of liquified natural gas (LNG) production and supply - a development of immense importance, since a quarter of the world's population, hungry for energy, is located in the rapidly developing countries of Asia just north of Western Australia.
Realizing the strategic importance of the petroleum industry in the future of Western Australia, its government has launched its top priority program to attract international petroleum industry players to "Locate to Western Australia." As a consequence, numerous US, UK, European, and Japanese companies have already chosen to establish their regional headquarters and/or operations center in the state, and many of Australia's own petroleum industry companies are also moving their main officies to Perth.
In the following pages, the principal companies and their current activities provide a profile of how Western Australia is becoming the center of operations for Asia-Pacific's petroleum industry.
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