“ESSO has a long and proud history in the Gippsland area spanning over five decades,” said Barry Beach Marine Terminal Superintendent, Mark Duthie.
He was speaking at a Stakeholder/Community Liaison lunch held at Wiggys on the Green on Friday, November 3.
After everyone had enjoyed a delicious first course Mark gave those gathered an update on the transition of the Terminal to the new operators, Qube Energy.
There was a large and diverse group of people present including South Gippsland Shire Mayor, Ray Argento.
Mark said in the time Esso has been in Gippsland, they have invested billions of dollars into developing the infrastructure required to meet the energy needs of Australian households and businesses.
“The terminal has played an integral role in the history of Bass Strait. This is where Australia’s offshore oil and gas industry was born,” he said.
“Barry Beach has played a pivotal role in our operations from accommodating, servicing and supplying seismic, drilling, construction and research vessels to receiving large fabricated facilities for our plants.”
He said it was a milestone moment.
“On Wednesday last week the Far Supplier, our dedicated supply vessel, departed Barry Beach Marine Terminal for the last time as an Esso operated facility and on Friday last week, we marked our final business day at a facility we have run for almost 50 years.
“In handing over operations at the terminal to Qube, I’m really pleased to see that they share our enthusiasm for community engagement.”
He said one area of Esso’s community investment program, which he was particularly passionate about, is their focus on education.
“This year we provided over $80,000 to enhance science and maths education at 23 local schools across Gippsland, South Gippsland and the Mornington Peninsula through our Gippsland Bright Future Grants program.”
After explaining that the handover had gone without a hiccup he then welcomed Michael Sousa, Director of Qube to speak.
“Qube is very proud to be operating the Barry Beach Marine Terminal on behalf of Esso and I am pleased to come along today to share some information about who we are and what we do, as well as provide an update on the transition,” Michael said.
“Qube is Australia’s largest integrated provider of import and export logistics services, with strong customer partnerships and relationships with many of the leading companies around the world.
“We are an ASX 100 listed company with a highly experienced workforce of over 6000 employees. We operate across 80 facility locations in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia and a large proportion of these facilities reside in regional communities.”
He said that the proof will be in the pudding and that he looks forward to fostering a great relationship with all the stakeholders.
He then handed over to Exxon Mobil Australia’s Offshore Operations Manager Geoff Humphreys.
“For some time now I’ve been talking about our transition from an oil-based business to a gas business, well we have made significant progress, and today I’m really pleased to be able to talk about investing for the future,” he said.
“Right now, we have our best engineering and science brains working on options for new gas developments, and we are planning to drill two deep-water exploration wells in newly acquired acreage, south east of our existing fields.
We are exploring again and we are also planning to develop deeper, smaller Bass Strait gas fields.”
He said he was confident that with the communities’ ongoing support and a great team at Qube, they will continue to be an important source of gas, petroleum products and as a result an ongoing key source of business for the Barry Beach Marine Terminal for generations to come.