Around 60 students from three regional high schools visited various sites in the Dongara area on Thursday, 22 October.
Students from Dongara District High School, Jurien Bay District High School and Carnamah District High School toured three different facilities as part of their participation in the Petroleum Club’s Next Generation Program. This was the third annual site visit for the popular program, which is steadily growing in numbers of participating regional schools.
Triangle Energy Helicopter
The first stop of the day was at Triangle Energy’s helicopter base at Dongara Airport. The students learned how the base operates, then watched a safety video before being allowed to hop into the helicopter and talk to the pilot.
Students also spoke with an engineer whose job includes commuting by helicopter to the Cliff Head Platform, approximately 10km off the coast from Dongara.
Lunch and Listen
Students then enjoyed a packed lunch from a local Dongara café while listening to representatives from Mitsui E&P Australia, Triangle Energy and Beach Energy talk about what they do.
This mini-careers panel was an introduction to some of the opportunities to be found within the oil and gas industry, especially in the Mid West.
Well Decommissioning and Production
In the afternoon students saw a well being decommissioned near the Hovea Production Facility, which is in care and maintenance, and also the Waitsia Stage 1 Expansion facility, which is in production. It is now providing 20 TJ/day of gas.
Program Coordinator, Hamish Smith, spoke to the students about various aspects of both operations, including the way the oil and gas companies work with landowners.
One of the students on the tour was able to give a first-hand perspective about this interaction, pointing to his family home which was located nearby.
Oil & Gas not just about Geology and Engineering
The Petroleum Club Manager, also on the site visit, said the site visit helps students understand more about the career opportunities in their own back yard.
She says the petroleum industry is not just about geology and engineering, there are many other types of jobs. The site visit showcases those opportunities to students and they are often pleasantly surprised to learn they could potentially be working close to home.
The helicopter visit was a highlight for many students, whose eyes lit up at the prospect of having so much fun at work.