THE Australian Labor Party has announced plans to establish an Oil and Gas Innovation Partnership with headquarters in Perth, if re-elected in the upcoming federal election.

Led by Woodside and comprising an advisory group and more than 250 small to medium enterprises, the new Partnership will collaborate on innovation, research and development in an effort to stimulate the competitiveness of Australia’s resources sector.

Key fields of concern will be improving construction productivity, gas technology developments including floating LNG, computational geosciences and subsea production.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) welcomed the news, saying the partnership recognised the role of oil and gas in supporting economic development.

“Australia is on track to become the world’s largest LNG exporter by the end of this decade, but $180 billion worth of projects are at risk due to international competitive pressures and questions about Australia’s attractiveness as a place to invest,” chief executive David Byers said.

“This Partnership can make an important contribution to more competitive supply chains, increase productivity, advances in cutting-edge oil and gas technology and a greater understanding of the social impact and contribution of the industry.”

The Partnership will have connections in Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, and the Australian Labor Party predicts the Partnership may create up to 150,000 new jobs in coming years.

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