RESPONDING to the challenge to remain competitive and attract the next wave of LNG investment is an urgent task for the industry, Santos CEO David Knox says.
Speaking in his role as chairman of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, Mr Knox told an association conference on Monday that the cost of building new LNG projects in Australia had increased significantly over the past decade, and was now 20-30% higher than those faced by global competitors.
"Our industry must take a concerted and collaborative approach to improving our efficiency and delivering gains in productivity," Mr Knox said.
"We must also prioritise efforts to collaborate, to share infrastructure and to deliver economies of scale.
"But improving our competitiveness will not be feasible if left entirely to the industry. Certainly it will require leadership and innovation from the industry - but it will also require measures from our suppliers, from government and an approach to this industry as a long-term one."
Mr Knox said government support for the industry must be maintained through sound regulatory and tax policies, and said the regulations governing the industry should provide certainty, transparency, avoid duplication and promote understanding between government officials and business leaders.
"This approach will not just increase investor confidence - it will also avoid delays, remove unnecessary cost to our industry, increase efficiency, and so competitiveness," he said.
"By recognising and weighing up the impact of their oversight on the oil and gas industry, and carefully considering
the costs of their policies against the long-term benefits this industry delivers, government too can play its part in the long-term success of our industry."
Mr Knox said it was important to realise market for capital was a global one, and investors would always seek the best return on their investment.