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Oil and gas industry leaders recognised at APPEA Conference and Exhibition

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Oilfield Technology,

Two of the oil and gas industry’s most respected and experienced leaders have been celebrated with Honorary Life Memberships at the opening day of the 2022 APPEA Conference and Exhibition.

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) today recognised former ExxonMobil chair Richard Owen OAM and former Oil Search boss Peter Botten AC, CBE for their decades of commitment to the sector.

The APPEA constitution allows its Board to award Honorary Life Membership to a person for meritorious or worthy service to the industry, recognising excellence and commitment in striving to meet its objectives.

Mr Owen has worked in oil and gas his entire career including 37 years with Exxon Mobil around the world before being made its Australian chairman.

He also spent six years as an APPEA board director (2013 – 2019), including as Chairman of the Greenhouse and Energy Policy Committee, steering the sector through major national climate change reforms.

APPEA Acting Chief Executive Damian Dwyer said: “Throughout his career, from the very beginning, he has been in the oil and gas industry.

“During his time on the APPEA board, Richard’s focus on the key objectives of that Committee, its work for the good of the entire industry and his focus on a disciplined, considered and rigorous approach was key to the Committee’s work and to its achievements.”

Mr Owen said of the honour: “Honorary Life Membership of APPEA is great recognition and I would like to thank the Board for making the award.

“I would also like to thank the APPEA staff, past and present, for their tireless work in supporting the sector for over six decades.

“I believe that APPEA has been, and continues to be, a critical and necessary voice for the sector to ensure informed decision making by communities and governments."

Mr Botten was most recently Managing Director and Chief Executive of Oil Search from 1994 to 2020 before its merger with Santos. He is currently Chair of AGL Energy and resources company Aurelia Metals and a director of Karoon Energy, as well as Conrad Energy Asia.

Mr Dwyer said: “This is in recognition of his contribution to the oil and gas industry throughout his career – his long service to the industry, with particular emphasis for his work in PNG in relation to community and economic development.”

“He follows the belief that, in his words: ‘Companies cannot operate in isolation from society if they are to generate goodwill, maintain a moral compass and create shared value between community and business’.

“He has consistently been a strong supporter and advocate for APPEA and its work.

“Whilst Mr Botten’s activity is split between Australia and PNG, it is for his significant contribution to the industry as a whole and the extensive work he has carried out and continues to carry out in communities, for which he is being honoured.”

Mr Botten said of the recognition: “I am truly honoured to receive this award and be recognised by the Members of APPEA.

“Being part of a hugely dynamic oil, gas and energy industry for over 45 years has been an enormously exciting and fulfilling experience.

“I thank APPEA and its Members for the support and counsel that I have received over my career working in Australia and PNG.

“It has been a privilege to be able to contribute, in some small way, to the industry and drive the importance of community engagement, that has been pivotal to sustainable success of the companies in which I have been involved.”

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