What the petroleum industry can do about climate change

Artic permafrost melting

Date & time

4–5.15pm 2 August 2016


Seminar Room, First Floor - Oliphant Building (#60), Mills Road ANU, Acton, ACT 2601


 Clare de Castella

Climate change has already triggered an increase in the rate of methane release from the arctic permafrost. The petroleum and gas industry is well placed to capture this methane and either burn it, thereby reducing its greenhouse potential, or better still transport it to market. An appropriate price on carbon could make this worthwhile for the industry.

Furthermore, gas is only preferable to coal, from an emissions point of view, if methane emissions from all the links in the gas supply chain are curbed. Controlling these emissions will not only benefit the environment; under a price on carbon, it will also be cost effective for the industry.

Capturing arctic methane emissions and drawing down carbon from the atmosphere - if they can be done on a large scale - have the potential to transform the petroleum and gas industry into a climate saviour.

This seminar will consist of a presentation by Professor Andrew Hopkins followed by panel discussion and questions.

The panel will comprise of:

  • Associate Professor Llewelyn Hughes, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU
  • Damian Dwyer, Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA)


About the speaker

Andrew Hopkins is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the Australian National University in Canberra.

He was an expert witness at the Royal Commission into the 1998 Exxon gas plant explosion near Melbourne. He was a consultant to the US Chemical Safety Board in its investigation of the BP Texas City Refinery disaster of 2005, and also for its investigation into the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010.  He has also authored books about each of these accidents.

He has been involved in various government WHS reviews and has done consultancy work for major companies in the resources sector, as well as for Defence. He speaks regularly to audiences around the world about the causes of major accidents.


Updated:  28 May 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director, Energy Change Institute/Page Contact:  Webmaster