Meet the members

Brian Kitney, Chief Commercial Officer, Osaka Gas Australia

9 January 2017

Q: How did you come to be in the oil and gas industry?

A: I was studying Japanese, marketing and econometrics and was approached by a Japanese trading house to join their team. I joined initially as a chemical trader with a mandate to grow an energy business. Over time we grew a successful trading and upstream business. Since then my career has followed an oil and gas path.

Q: Aside from low commodity prices what do you believe is the greatest challenge to our industry’s future growth?

A: Low commodity prices are simply part of a cycle and industry is adjusting to this cycle. Finding the right balance in a weak (or strong) market, avoiding overreacting and being ready to make timely and appropriate adjustments as cycles change are key challenges.

Q: What are the strategic priorities for your company in the next 12 months?

A: In Australia we would like to build our production base. Our equity production from LNG projects is starting to ramp up and we are seeking opportunities to acquire oil and domgas and add more production through acquisitions.

Q: What differentiates your company from similar companies working in Asia Pacific?

A: In Australia we are an upstream company with a large stable parent company. Our parent is not a traditional upstream company and therefore subject to different cycles and pressures compared with pure E&P players.

Q: How would you describe your company in one sentence to a new client/partner/investor?

A: Australian upstream subsidiary of a Japanese utility company seeking to broaden the asset and revenue base of the parent through investing in high quality upstream projects that offer long term stable returns.

Q: What takeaways would you like attendees at our Asia Pacific Assembly to go home with regarding your company and your work both in Asia Pacific and further afield?

A: I think a lot of people assume that we are only interested in LNG projects but now, in Australia, we are more focused on seeking new oil and domestic gas investments. In Perth we have around 30 staff and we are actively seeking new opportunities with reliable partners in producing assets and assets with upside potential.

Q: What was the wisest advice you received from a mentor?

A: You don’t need to know everything – you just need to know how to find it.

Q: What advice would you pass onto a recent graduate wishing to work in oil & gas?

A: It’s a challenging time to enter the industry, but persevere as it’s a rewarding and essential industry.

Q: How do you prefer to spend your spare time?

A: Recently I am enjoying weekends around the house or with my family. I like to visit the local 50m pool and swims laps at least once each weekend.

Q: What’s your favourite holiday destination?

A: The Margaret River region of Western Australia.

Q: All-time favourite book?

A: I became hooked on JFK history for a while and read 15-20 books on the topic over around two years. I rarely read fiction.

Q: All-time favourite film?

A: Good Will Hunting.

Q: What three items would you take with you to a desert island? (NB: you may not choose a boat, raft, satellite phone or a book on ‘Practical raft-building for Dummies’)

A: A photo of my family to – because they’re what keeps me motivated. A giant ball of string – because sticks and stone may break your bones, but sticks and string can build just about anything. A corkscrew – because I am an eternal optimist and you never know what may wash up on the beach! 

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