Woodside strikes space deal

Signs agreement with Australian Space Agency

Woodside has signed a ‘statement of strategic intent and cooperation’ with the Australian Space Agency, the resources company said today.

Woodside’s vice-president of technology, Jason Crusan, and ASA head Dr Megan Clark signed the agreement today in Perth.

The agreement is intended to help promote technology transfer between the space and oil and gas sectors.

“By looking outside our industry to the Australian Space Agency, we can accelerate the development of technologies that allow us to safely and efficiently manage assets in remote and harsh environments,” said Woodside CEO Peter Coleman.

The CEO said the agreement will help build on the company’s work on remote sensors and data analytics, as well as its work with NASA on robotics.

“Signing this letter with the Australian Space Agency complements our ongoing engagement with governments, other LNG operators and the tertiary sector to create Australian jobs of the future in remote operating and automation capabilities,” Coleman said.

The announcement was welcomed by industry, science and technology minister Karen Andrews.

“Woodside Energy is currently expanding capabilities in remote operations and technologies that will enable assets to be operated in remote and extreme environments,” the minister said. “Once commercialised, these technologies will not only have the capability to be deployed across different industry sectors but utilised on earth and in space.”

The federal government in late 2017 first revealed its intention to create an Australian space agency. The ASA officially launched on 1 July 2018, with the government putting $26 million towards the agency as well as $15 million towards the International Space Investment project.

The agency, which is headquartered in Adelaide, is intended to help triple the size of Australia’s space economy to $12 billion.

Last week the government said a Mission Control Centre will receive $6 million in funding. In addition an additional $6 million will go towards establishing a Space Discovery Centre in Adelaide.

Earlier this month Woodside revealed it would take a 10 per cent stake in WA-based infosec company Sapien Cyber Ltd.

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