Western Australia is a global hub for scientific and technological innovation for the oil and gas sector. More than 900 companies, of which 400 are international, currently service the sector from Perth.

Technological capabilities in Western Australia’s oil and gas sector include:

  • automation of knowledge work
  • The ‘Internet Of Things’ and the application of the internet to energy and resources
  • advanced robotics: autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles
  • advanced materials
  • advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery

Western Australia has developed capabilities in big data and data analytics with the establishment of several data infrastructure and R&D projects that directly or indirectly will benefit the state’s oil and gas sector. These include:

  • iVEC- Pawsey Supercomputing Centre
  • Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centre – an industry and research collaboration established by Curtin University and Woodside Energy
  • Square Kilometre Array project – a global radio-astronomy project involving institutions from more than 20 countries

Perth is globally ranked 4th (after the Silicon Valley, Calgary, and Houston) for the number of engineers per 1000 employees.

In 2013, Western Australia had the largest number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) enrolments as a proportion of total enrolments in the nation.

Major petroleum operators and service providers, recognising the potential and research capability of Western Australia, have established research and development and training centres in the State. They include Chevron Global Technology Centre, GE Oil and Gas Service Maintenance and Training Facility and IBM Natural Resources Solutions Centre for Petroleum. 

The Chevron Global Technology Centre, established in 2007, underscores Perth’s pool of regional technology experts, proximity to major markets in the region, and growing opportunities to pursue research and development alliances with industry partners and universities.

The IBM Natural Resources Solutions Centre, Perth has state-of-the-art facilities that promote smart operations for Australia’s mining, oil and gas industries. Leveraging the multinational corporation’s annual global R&D budget of US$6 billion, it is investing in the development of Smarter Planet natural resources sector solutions such as IBM’s Intelligent Oilfields.

Western Australia is also a leader in training across the resource sector. The State’s five universities and three technical institutes, including the Western Australian School of Mines and the Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT), offer a broad range of energy-related courses and research opportunities.

The Western Australian Energy Research Alliance (WA:ERA) brings together the research strengths of the University of Western Australia, Curtin University and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to further develop the State’s oil and gas industry. Working with industry partners Woodside Energy Ltd, Shell, and Chevron Australia Pty Ltd, WA:ERA is committing significant resources to address industry challenges.

Together with 18 other globally recognised ‘energy cities’, the City of Perth is a member of the World Energy Cities Partnership. Member cities are committed to knowledge sharing and partnerships in energy-related activities, as well as exploring mutually beneficial opportunities in a range of strategic areas, such as energy-related and environmental technologies.